Replacing May Day with Labor Day

Replacing May Day with Labor Day

Posted in the Chicago Forum

Nathan Schneider

Tempe, AZ

#1 May 1, 2014
Replacing May Day with Labor Day was part of a decades-long effort to stifle the vibrancy of populist movements

May 1, 2014 12:00AM ET

by Nathan Schneider [email protected]

On May 1, 1933, the Catholic journalist and activist Dorothy Day went to New York’s Union Square to distribute copies of the first issue of her newspaper The Catholic Worker. As she made her way through the crowd, she had a ready audience of thousands: men in coats, ties, and hats — as low-wage workers and radicals apparently used to dress — gathered around a maze of signs for labor unions, fraternal societies, and parties representing the various varieties of socialism then on offer. These groups disagreed in every way they could think to, but they shared the square regardless. For decades, in the U.S. and around the world, May Day was International Workers’ Day, commemorating protesters killed in Haymarket Square, Chicago, during the 1886 strike for an eight-hour workday. It also had earlier roots as a spring holiday of maypoles and flower baskets.

http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/5/...

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