Monday, September 1, 2014

The Real Labor Day 1866

Although we celebrate today as Labor Day, historically it is May 1st that is sometimes characterized as the "Real Labor Day." As related to labor, I seem to be exerting a minimal amount of it right now. 

Here is a partial re-post from a previous years entry:

Photos from collection of John T. Richards
So does anyone know the origins of May Day and its connections to the labor movement, Bill Haywood and ultimately to the trial and events in Idaho? May Day is sometimes referred to as the "Real Labor Day" as it was on May 1, 1886 that marches began in the streets of Chicago in support of the eight-hour work day.

"The 1886 Haymarket riots, trials, and executions made a deep impression on Haywood inspiring, he would later say, his life of radicalism. The Pullman railroad strikes of 1893 further strengthened Haywood's interest in the labor movement. Then in 1896, while working a silver mine in Idaho, Haywood listened to a speech by Ed Boyce, President of the Western Federation of Miners. Haywood immediately signed up as a WFM member and by 1900 became a member of the organization's executive board."
--From William D. Haywood, Famous American Trials, Bill Haywood Trial 1907

(Half of Haywood's ashes were entombed at the Haymarket Monument in Chicago). jr
May Day - the Real Labor Day

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