The Origin of the May 1st Celebration

Did you know that International Workers’ Day was born in France? Indeed, the first “May 1st” was established in Paris during the congress of the Second International, where a massive demonstration was organized to demand that public authorities reduce the workday to eight hours. The choice of the date was not arbitrary: May 1st was chosen because three years earlier, in 1886, a workers’ demonstration in Chicago had been brutally suppressed.

This initiative crossed national borders and became a symbol of the demands of workers who were fighting for better labor rights and conditions during those years. Despite the repressive response of many governments, May 1st, 1890, saw a very high level of participation. Today, this date is a national holiday in countries such as Cuba, Russia, China, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, and the countries of the European Union. However, it is not recognized as a holiday in the United States.

In 1923, fascism was abolished on May 1st, and the celebration of workers was merged with Rome’s birthday on April 21st. It was only in 1947 that Labor Day officially became a national holiday in Italy.

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