Labor Day 1912
In Chicago, Illinois May 1, 1886. A huge strike and protest was shattered when a bomb was thrown at the police, killing one. The police over-reacted and fired on the strikers and a riot broke out. In the aftermath, 8 police and 4 strikers were killed. Labor leaders were arrested and indicted and, despite the fact none of the accused were proven to have participated in the bombing, four were hung for having knowledge of the bombing. Much of labor saw this trial as a farce. Since that day, the labor movement used May 1st to memorialize the incident. Radical groups in Europe took the lead of US labor and made May Day an International Worker’s Day at the International Worker’s Congress in Paris 1889. That’s right, the US started May Day as a political celebration.