International Labor Day, also known as "May 1st International Labor Day" and "International Workers' Day or May Day" (International Workers' Day or May Day), is a national holiday in more than 80 countries in the world. It is set on May 1st of each year. It is a festival shared by working people all over the world.
In the 19th century, many countries such as the United States and Europe gradually developed from capitalism to imperialism. In order to stimulate rapid economic development and extract more surplus value to maintain this high-speed capitalist machine, capitalists continued to increase their working hours. And labor-intensive methods to cruelly exploit workers.
In the United States, workers have to work 14 to 16 hours a day, some even as long as 18 hours, but the wages are very low.
In 1877, the first national strike in American history began. The working class marched to the streets to demonstrate, and proposed to the government to improve labor and living conditions, request shortening of working hours and implement an eight-hour work system.
Under the strong pressure of the labor movement, the US Congress was forced to enact an eight-hour work law. However, some capitalists simply ignored it. This law is just a dead letter. The workers are still living in dire straits and are tortured by the capitalists.
In 1886, the First International Geneva Conference put forward the slogan of the eight-hour work system. On May 1, 1886, a large-scale strike and demonstration was held in the United States with approximately 350,000 people taking part in Chicago, the United States. The demonstrators demanded to improve working conditions and implement an eight-hour work system. On May 3, 1886, the Chicago government dispatched police officers to suppress them. They shot and killed two people. The situation expanded. On May 4, strikers protested in Haymarket Square. Unidentified people threw bombs at the police and the police finally opened fire. A total of 4 workers and 7 policemen died. The history is called "Haymarket Riot" or "Haymarket Massacre". In the subsequent sentence, 8 anarchists were prosecuted for murder, 4 anarchists were hanged, and 1 committed suicide in prison.
In commemoration of this great labor movement and the subsequent pronouncement of the protests, protests by workers were held worldwide. These activities became the predecessor of "International Labor Day".
In July 1889, at the founding meeting of the Second International organized by Engels, it was announced that May 1st of each year would be the International Labor Day.