In more than 80 countries, on May 1, labor unions and working people take to the streets. The holiday is often referred to as International Workers’ Day or May Day.
The day marks the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago, where police shot and killed several demonstrators who were fighting for the eight-hour workday. Over the next several years, people across the globe began demonstrating on May 1, and in many countries the day became an official holiday.
So why don’t we celebrate in May? Government officials feared instigating anger over the event at Haymarket Square. But politicians and others relaized that a holiday honoring workers was necessary. So, following the massive 1894 Pullman Strike legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was quickly ushered through Congress. From then, on Labor Day officially occurred on the first Monday in September.
In the U.S., Labor Day is often celebrated with barbeques to mark the end of summer. Check out how hamburgers and hot dogs got their names.)
Now that you know about the history of Labor Day, do you still think it makes sense to have the holiday in September?
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