Labor Day isn’t the most exciting of holidays. It doesn’t quite have the verve or internationalism of May Day and its meaning is overshadowed by important things like superb discounts on flat screen TVs.
But Labor Day was a real victory for the workers’ movement. As Tim Goulet writes in Jacobin, the holiday finds its roots in the most radical struggles of the nineteenth century. More than a decade before Grover Cleveland sanctioned a federal observance in 1894, Labor Day was marked by socialists and radical trade unionists.
We might still prefer May Day, but hey, workers deserve at the very least two days to celebrate their contributions to society.
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