Friday, April 30, 2010

May Day History

May Day is the International Workers Day and most working people around the world celebrate it every day, on May 1st.

Not everybody knows, though, how May 1st got to be Workers’Day. It all started on May 3, 1886, in Chicago, when a group of workers were protesting peacefully. They were all working for McCormick reaper plant and the purpose of their protest was to get an 8 hour per day work schedule.

Several of these workers were killed, so another protest was organized on the following day, and the police tried to stop it when it was close to its end. Someone threw an explosive, the police started shooting and the result was a tragic one – seven policemen and four workers killed.

A Chicago court handled the trial of the five leaders of the workers that got arrested. All five got death sentences, but the evidence that lead to this was very inconclusive, as it was later found out. One commited suicide in his cell and the other four were hanged.

In 1891, May Day was recognized, after a demonstration was organized in order to commemorate what happened in May 1886 in Chicago.



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