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Drawn by T. de Thulstrup from sketches and photos furnished by H. Jeaneret. - Illus. in: Harper's Weekly, v. 30, (1886 May 15), p. 312-313.

Drawn by T. de Thulstrup from sketches and photos furnished by H. Jeaneret. – Illus. in: Harper’s Weekly, v. 30, (1886 May 15), p. 312-313.

Yesterday was Labor Day! I didn’t have to do school, so I found it very interesting that it’s called “Labor Day”, and I will tell you about the reason why it’s called that.

Labor Day honors the American labor movement, and was established as a national holiday in 1887 as a result of the Haymarket Square Riot.

The Haymarket Square Riot took place in Chicago on May 4, 1886 as a result of the Federation of Organized Trade and Labor Unions setting May 1, 1886 as the date by which the eight-hour work day would become standard. On May 4, a rally was organized in support of this act. Police soon arrived to disperse it, and a home-made bomb filled with dynamite was thrown and exploded in the path of the advancing police, killing seven officers. After the explosion, there was a loud exchange of gunfire between the police and the crowd, and soon the square was empty, except for the casualties: seven police officers and at least four workers were killed.

In 1887, to commemorate the incident, President Grover Cleveland officially proclaimed that the first Monday in September would be a national holiday, becoming known as Labor Day, a sad reminder of the violence that occurred at Haymarket Square.

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