May 1 is traditionally celebrated in honor of the worker, laborer. In many countries of the world this day is a holiday, their labor day. Here in the Chicago area, there is a bit of history associated with this date: the Haymarket Riot of 1886, although many would dispute the word “riot”. This event was a demonstration by workers for better working conditions, especially an 8 hour work day. It is called “haymarket” because of its location: Haymarket Square, on West Randolph Street in Chicago. Although the demonstration began on May 1, the violence erupted on May 3 and 4.

Here is the entry in the online version of the Encyclopedia of Chicago History:

If we have decent working conditions, we need to be aware of those who put their lives on the line to make these conditions a reality. People died to bring about better working conditions in this country.


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