A belated early Happy Labor Day

Labor Day didn’t always end summer. Here’s an excerpt from WAIW? explaining:

Today is May 1st, Labor Day around the world for everyone except a few countries, including the United States. On this day in 1886, some 40,000 workers marched down Michigan Avenue in efforts to bring about an eight-hour work day. A few days later at a labor rally in Chicago’s Haymarket Square a riot broke out complete with a bomb and police firing into a crowd. Seven police officers and two protestors were killed and many more were wounded. Four of the “anarchists” were rounded up and later hung. President Grover Cleveland didn’t want to celebrate the “socialist” movement so Labor Day in the United States was moved to the first Monday in September.

Haymarket Square explosion

Melissa says:

Ah, it’s always a great piece of American history when the recount ends in a hanging.

But all kidding aside…interesting, but I never knew (and Howard Zinn’s book was my college American History textbook. Hmmm…my not knowing this bit could partially explain my B in that class).

Kelsey says:

Melissa, May and September battled for Labor Day for 20 years. Thanks to violent/radical events, especially Haymarket Square, which took place on the first of May during the time period, eventually September won.

Fortunately May has retained Cinco de Mayo. I expect September would have a much harder time stealing that holiday.

Let your voice be heard!