LaborArts


Labor Day 2021

 

NO BOOK COULD BE MORE TIMELY, according to Eric Foner.  CELEBRATE LABOR DAY by sending a copy to a friend today.   Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives - A Pictorial History of Working People in New York City.

 

 

Thirty thousand people marched in Union Square on September 5, 1882 — for an eight hour workday, better treatment of immigrants, an end to child labor, and equal pay for equal work. Alas, in 2021 these basic demands are more urgent than ever - and the pandemic is preventing large marches - for now.  Fortunately, Union Square is still a vital space for public protest (if no longer on Labor Day).

 

 

 

Check out LaborArts images from Labor Day parades past here. Our collection highlights a scattering of years, the selection based not on the size of the parade, but on the quality of the photos available. Beyond the iconic 1882 illustration, two clusters of photos stand out, one from 1968 and the other from 1981.

 

 

 

 

 

May Day is the other workers' holiday — it too has origins in the late 19th century and in the fight for an 8-hour day. See this LaborArts selection of twenty eight May Day images — many of them colorful posters.

 

 

 

 

 

For further reading see historian Joshua Freeman's essay  "Labor Day — From Protest to Picnics," and Timothy Minchin's essay "Together We Shall Be Heard:  Exploring the 1981 'Solidarity Day' Mass March," in Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas, September 2015.

 

For a wonderfully comprehensive bibliography of Labor History resources see the LAWCHA website, beautifully illustrated with May Day images by Walter Crane from the 1880s. 

For a terrifically comprehensive bibliography of labor history resources, and terrific image of Walter Crane’s  “Labour’s May Day”  illustration from 1889,  see the Labor and Working Class History website.  - See more at: http://www.laborarts.org/collections/set.cfm?setid=40&page=5#sthash.0MTWW8QB.dpuf

For a terrifically comprehensive bibliography of labor history resources, and terrific image of Walter Crane’s  “Labour’s May Day”  illustration from 1889,  see the Labor and Working Class History website.  - See more at: http://www.laborarts.org/collections/set.cfm?setid=40&page=5#sthash.0MTWW8QB.dpuf

For a terrifically comprehensive bibliography of labor history resources, and terrific image of Walter Crane’s  “Labour’s May Day”  illustration from 1889,  see the Labor and Working Class History website.  - See more at: http://www.laborarts.org/collections/set.cfm?setid=40&page=5#sthash.0MTWW8QB.dpuf wonderfully comprehensive bibliography of labor history resources from

 

New York City's Central Labor Council is sponsoring a Labor Day Mass September 8, 2021.