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International Workers' Day (May Day)

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    May 1st is International Workers' Day. It's not very big here in the U.S. but its apparently pretty big around the world. Some countries have it as a national holiday even. Parades and all that fun stuff. In other countries it has been marked as a day of protests. Greeks took to the street to protest the austerity programs that have crippled the country.

    Labor protest in Turkey got a bit violent when police and protesters came together.

    And there are protests in Korea and Taipei.

    What it goes to show is that worker rights is an issue that is recognized worldwide and tie the world together.
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    What's interesting about the International Workers Day is that an event in Chicago - The Haymarket riot of 1886 - was the inspiration for the celebration. Two years prior to the Haymarket event, the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions selected May 1 as the date for rallies in favor of an eight hour work day.

    Oregon was the first state to establish a formal Labor Day celebration, which occurred in FEBRUARY of 1887. By the time it became a Federal holiday in 1894, 30 states had established Labor Days of their own, and several chose dates in September.

    Because President Grover Cleveland did not want the celebration to be linked to the Communist and Anarchist movements that had embraced May 1 as "International Workers Day", he pushed for (successfully) the first Monday in September to be the official holiday.