Today in History
12 September 2010
September 12, 1998 - Union Square in New York City was officially named a national historic landmark. A National Park Service plaque commemorates the square as the site of the first Labor Day in 1882. Over the decades, Union Square has been a focal point for working class protest and political expression. Samuel Gompers spoke at a May Day rally at the square in 1886 and the Industrial Workers of the World – the “Wobblies” – demonstrated frequently during the economic depression of 1914-15. In 1937, retail clerks staged a “lay-down” strike at the Woolworth’s on Union Square, demanding a 40-hour work week.