Did you know that May Day is also known as International Workers’ Day? Typically we think about children dancing and twirling bright colored ribbons around the Maypole. Many people do not realize that May Day has its origins in the United States of America.
According to the Industrial Workers of The World:
In the late nineteenth century, the working class was in constant struggle to gain the 8-hour work day. Working conditions were severe and it was quite common to work 10 to 16 hour days in unsafe conditions.
On May 1, 1886, more than 300,000 workers in 13,000 businesses across the United States walked off their jobs in the first May Day celebration in history. In Chicago, the epicenter for the 8-hour day agitators, 40,000 went out on strike with the anarchists in the forefront of the public’s eye. With their fiery speeches and revolutionary ideology of direct action, anarchists and anarchism became respected and embraced by the working people and despised by the capitalists.
So whether you’re a workers advocate or dancing around a May Pole, have a terrific May Day commemoration.