May Day 1886

May 1, 2019

‘The first national turnout for worker’s rights in the U.S. was on May 1, 1886 — and contrary to what we’ve heard elsewhere, it wasn’t the same thing as the Haymarket Affair.

International Workers’ Day is celebrated with rallies and protests all over the world on May 1st, but it’s not a big deal in the United States. In this podcast extra, Brooke speaks to Donna Haverty-Stacke of Hunter College, CUNY about the U.S. origin of May Day and how it has come to be forgotten.

Haverty-Stacke is also author of America’s Forgotten Holiday: May Day and Nationalism, 1867–1960, and she explains that the fight over May 1st, or May Day, is also about the fight for American identity and what it means to be radical and patriotic at the same time.’

Listen [17:22]:


The On The Media crew sings “Into The Streets May First” a never-before-professionally-recorded 1935 Aaron Copland anthem in honor of May Day.


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