Labor Day 2023

THIRTY THOUSAND people marched in Union Square on September 5, 1882. They demanded an eight hour workday, better treatment of immigrants, an end to child labor, and equal pay for equal work.
Alas these basic demands continue to be more urgent than ever.

The 2023 NYC Labor Day Parade will be on:

Saturday, September 9th
at 10:00 AM
The parade steps off from 44th Street & Fifth Avenue at 10:00 AM, marching north to the grandstand at 64th Street
Details here.

Find LaborArts images from Labor Day parades past here. Our collection highlights a scattering of years, 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.

CELEBRATE LABOR DAY by sending an extraordinary book to a friend today. “No book could be more timely,” historian Eric Foner said about Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives – A Pictorial History of Working People in New York City.

For further reading see historian Joshua Freeman’s essay “Labor Day – From Protest to Picnics” on the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History website.

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