May Days And After

From joyous spring rite to politicised holiday – Chris Wrigley traces the annexation of May Day through the efforts of the increasingly active labour movement in the early 1890s.

Crowd gathered in Union Square, New York City during the May Day parade, May 1, 1913In May 1892 the editor of a Liberal provincial newspaper, the Leicester Mercury, observed:

May Day has been wrested from the rapidly decaying possession of the petty sentiments. The May pole has been dragged down to make room for the political platform and the little bands of gaily dressed lads and lasses with their displays of flowers have given place to processions of grimly practical men and women.

To continue reading this article you will need to purchase access to the online archive.

Buy Online Access  Buy Print & Archive Subscription

If you have already purchased access, or are a print & archive subscriber, please ensure you are logged in.

Please email if you have any problems.