LETTER TO THE EDITOR | May Day: an [Un]Forgotten History

To the Editor:
Labor Day, the first Monday of September in the United States, marks a day dedicated to celebrating the contributions of the working class to the nation’s social and economic well-being. Historically, Labor Day was celebrated on the first of May until, fearing association with socialism, the U.S. changed May 1 from “International Workers Day” to “Law Day,” a holiday that promotes the obedience to the law and loyalty to the state. Labor Day was therefore moved to September, stripping away any undertones of socialist sentiment and relevant context. As a result, we have grown to associate the day with the end of summer and the first day of school, often passing over the history and significance of the working class struggle against capitalist exploitation. Although May Day is not celebrated in the U.S., where it is dismissed for its association with communism, the tradition actually has its roots in the States.