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International Workers’ Day

International Workers’ Day

History and background to May Day
May Day, or Worker’s Day, is celebrated in honor of the Martyrs of Chicago, seven company employees in the US who were killed in 1886 for going on a strike demanding an eight-hour workday. During the Congress of the Second International held in Paris in 1889 with representatives of workers from several European countries, the French delegation presented the initiative of preserving the memory of the Chicago martyrs through public demonstrations for better working conditions.

One year later, the first May Day was celebrated in different parts of the world, including Cuba. Until 1959, the May Day demonstrations were held to denounce the exploitation of workers in the country. With the triumph of the Revolution on January 1, 1959, May Day became a holiday of the working class who every May 1 fill Plaza de la Revolución joined by students, agricultural workers and the armed forces in support of the Revolution. April 2014 This article formed part of the April 2014 issue of What’s On Havana The definitive monthly travel & culture guide to Havana Download our current issue of What’s On Havana, your definitive travel, culture and entertainment guide for all things happening in Havana, Cuba’s bustling and enigmatic capital city. We include features from around Cuba written by the best international travel writers covering Cuba. Our monthly online digital magazine is also available in Spanish and French.


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