labor struggle


May Day Explained: An Overlooked Milestone in the Fight for Workers’ Rights

Includes video

Correction note: The original version of this post stated incorrect information about the history of Labor Day. It was established in 1894 by President Grover Cleveland (not 1955). The information has been updated to reflect this change.

The Haymarket affair, as depicted in a Harper’s Magazine engraving (Wikimedia Commons)


For some, May Day means prancing awkwardly around a feather-wreathed pole.

But that ancient Druid rite of Spring is likely not what today’s immigrant rights protestors have in mind.

In about 80 countries throughout the world, May Day is actually an official labor holiday, often commemorated with large strikes, rallies, and demonstrations in support of workers rights. The day’s roots date back to a heated struggle for something that most of us now take for granted: the eight-hour work day. Continue reading