Most Americans don't realize that May Day has its origins in this country


tay
+1
#1  Top Rated Post
Most people living in the United States know little about the International Workers' Day of May Day. For many others there is an assumption that it is a holiday celebrated in state communist countries like Cuba or the former Soviet Union. Most Americans don't realize that May Day has its origins here in this country and is as "American" as baseball and apple pie, and stemmed from the pre-Christian holiday of Beltane, a celebration of rebirth and fertility.






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. Death and injury were commonplace at many work places and inspired such books as Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and Jack London's The Iron Heel. As early as the 1860's, working people agitated to shorten the workday without a cut in pay, but it wasn't until the late 1880's that organized labor was able to garner enough strength to declare the 8-hour workday. This proclamation was without consent of employers, yet demanded by many of the working class.


At this time, socialism was a new and attractive idea to working people, many of whom were drawn to its ideology of working class control over the production and distribution of all goods and services. Workers had seen first-hand that Capitalism benefited only their bosses, trading workers' lives for profit. Thousands of men, women and children were dying needlessly every year in the workplace, with life expectancy as low as their early twenties in some industries, and little hope but death of rising out of their destitution. Socialism offered another option.


Today we see tens of thousands of activists embracing the ideals of the Haymarket Martyrs and those who established May Day as an International Workers' Day. Ironically, May Day is an official holiday in 66 countries and unofficially celebrated in many more, but rarely is it recognized in this country where it began.


Over one hundred years have passed since that first May Day. In the earlier part of the 20th century, the US government tried to curb the celebration and further wipe it from the public's memory by establishing "Law and Order Day" on May 1. We can draw many parallels between the events of 1886 and today. We still have locked out steelworkers struggling for justice. We still have voices of freedom behind bars as in the cases of Mumia Abu Jamal and Leonard Peltier. We still had the ability to mobilize tens of thousands of people in the streets of a major city to proclaim "THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!" at the WTO and FTAA demonstrations.






more




The Brief Origins of May Day | Industrial Workers of the World
 
Walter
#2
What crap. May Day has been celebrated for thousand of years. It's only lately, as the article suggests, that the commies have claimed it .
 
Blackleaf
#3
Baseball is an English sport, not an American one. Saying baseball is American is like saying cricket is Australian or Indian and rugby union is Welsh.
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#4
Chicken is a Kentucky bird.
Love Chicken at a May-day picnic.
 
BaalsTears
#5
May 1st is officially Law Day in the United States.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_Day_(United_States)
 
Walter
#6
In my primary school May 1 was called Arbour Day.
Canada[edit]

Ontario celebrates Arbor Week from the last Friday in April to the first Sunday in May. Nova Scotia celebrates Arbor Day on the Thursday during National Forest Week, which is the first full week in May. Prince Edward Island celebrates Arbor Day on the 3rd Friday in May during Arbor Week.[7]
h/t Wikipedia
 
Spade
Free Thinker
#7
Jesus, I have to agree with Walter. We planted trees, cleaned up the school yard, and enjoyed the Arbour-Day sun.
 
EagleSmack
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by BlackleafView Post

Baseball is an English sport, not an American one. Saying baseball is American is like saying cricket is Australian or Indian and rugby union is Welsh.

 
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