Labor Day is celebrated on May 1st – not only in Italy but also in many other countries. It is a day that has a great significance and roots far back in the past.
May 1st as a Labor Day was born within the labor union movements – movements that wanted to solve many social and economic problems of working class. This goal was eventually achieved after long battles, so nowadays this holiday is not just a day to rest, but also to remember.
The event that led to the choice of this actual date was the tragedy of the Haymarket uprising in Chicago in 1886. On May 1st, 1886 the workers went out on the streets of Chicago for an organized strike (the goal was change for the 8-hours working day). A few days later the demonstrators, gathered in front of one of the factories in Chicago, were attacked by the police for no reason. As a result, there were 2 deaths and several injuries. So, the next day there were more workers protesting on the streets and then a serious confrontation with the police occurred – a policeman was killed. After that the police started shooting on the crowd – many demonstrators were killed and also some policemen, who fell under friendly fire.
At the end of this tragedy there were several arrested people with the death sentence. Even though there wasn’t evidence that some of them was guilty of actual beginning of the revolt. This unjust sentence was quickly spread among all over the world.
Before dying, August Spies, one of the condemned, said: “The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today”.
From 1889 the May 1st became official feast as Labor Day in Europe.
This year in Tuscany, the Labor Day has passed under the sign of art: finally 30 museums in the region reopen their doors for the visitors.
The staff of Love Florence Italy wishes you a good Labor Day weekend!