May Day and Labor Union History


“…May 1, ‘May Day,’ 1886, [is the day] when some 200,000 U. S. workmen engineered a nationwide strike for an eight-hour workday…
“This labor action wasn’t just any strike—it was part of what became known as the Haymarket Square’ On May 1 of that year, Chicago (along with other cities) was the site of a major union demonstration in support of the eight-hour workday. The Chicago protests were meant to be part of several days of action. On May 3, a strike at the McCormick Reaper plant in the city turned violent; the next day, a peaceful meeting at Haymarket Square became even more so….”
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