The first of May, 1886 anarchist groups in Chicago, Illinois, called a general strike to achieve 8-hour Labor Day. Its leaders were mostly European immigrants, especially Germans. Their best propaganda written tool was the German anarchist newspaper Arbeiter-Zeitung, also known as the Chicago Arbeiter-Zeitung, the worker`s newspaper of. That day all the factories of Chicago joined the strike, with the exception of McCormick factory that operated on the hiring of strikebreakers since February, and that its workers had stopped to protest because the factory owners had decided to impose a reduction in their salaries required to build a church.
Amid the concentration of the strikers out the siren of a factory shift so concentrates went on strike-breakers and formed a battle. Police involved shooting at close range against the strikers sector. Kills six and injures dozens. Adolf Fisher a German immigrant, anarchist, editor and typesetter for the Chicago Arbeiter-Zeitung was present at the time of killing. Outraged goes to the newspaper and write a proclamation denouncing the police and calling for insurrection. 25.000 printed fliers were distributed proclaiming that the next day amid a rally of 50,000 people that was violently suppressed by police.
On 4 May following a merger takes place in Haymarket Square that had been authorized by the mayor of Chicago. Mayor Harrison was present at the concentration to ensure the safety of protesters, aware of the aggressiveness of the police chief John Bonfield. After the concentration, the mayor retired and much of the demonstrators. Because some remained at the site, the police chief decided to evict them by force to the argument the merger was over. In the midst of political repression someone threw an explosive device killing one police officer and wounding others. Police returned the insult firing into the crowd killing and wounding an undetermined number of workers.
Then start hunting. A large number of workers were jailed. Special care were the members of the Arbeiter-Zeitung newspaper, most Germans, who were sentenced to death: The editor August Spies, German, editor of the proclamation calling for insurrection Adolph Fisher, German, George Engel, German, Louis Ling, German, and American Albert Parsons died hanged. While the English Methodist minister Samuel Fielden was sentenced to life imprisonment, Michael Swabb, German, was sentenced to life imprisonment and Oscar Neebe, American manager of the newspaper was sentenced to 15 years in prison. There was plenty of xenophobia in this decision as the only American on death row, Albert Parson was illegally married to Lucy Gonzalez, born slave, originally from Waco Texas, the daughter of a black Mexican and an Indian creek at a time when they were banned interracial marriages. Both had fled Texas for threats of lynching them when Parson drove a campaign for black voting.
Despite being one of the most shameful episodes in American history, the first of May, internationally recognized as the Labor Day, has the United States as one of its exceptions. However from 2006 the first of May has been set unilaterally by the immigrant advocacy groups like the day of immigrant workers in the United States.