The Labor Day parade hits Union Square in 1887

A contingent of tobacco workers packed into a horse-drawn wagon turn west through the north end of Union Square in this Labor Day parade photo from 1887.


It’s another first New York City can lay claim to: the first Labor Day parade was organized by the Central Workers Union to show “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” in the city.

At the time this photo was taken, the parade is only five years old. But it caught on quick. By 1894, the nation begins to celebrate “National Labor Day” on the first Monday of September.

[Photo: MCNY Digital Gallery]

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4 Responses to “The Labor Day parade hits Union Square in 1887”

  1. ossininghistoryjournal Says:

    From about the end of the Civil War to the end of the 19th century New York City (not Tampa)was the cigar-making capital of the United States with literally thousands of large and small factories as well as home workshops turning out cigars of many kinds. I once saw a microfilmed list of these places and about 3,000 of these businesses were owned by immigrants from Spain, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico.

  2. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thanks Ossining–I had no idea. I have seen photos of cigar-rolling families working at home, parents and all the kids doing the work. I didn’t know about the factories.

  3. Linkage: NYC’s Taxi Pickups, Visualized; Mapping the Waterfront | LIBERTY ALLIANCE Says:

    […] An animation of every taxi pickup in NYC [Vox] · Labor Day parade in Union Square, 1887 [ENY] · “Rebranding” Harlem [JVNY] · Atlantic City to lose three casinos, […]

  4. arcruz34481 Says:

    Reblogged this on She Blogs Daily and commented:
    A day in history in New York

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