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May Day, New York

Jerome Liebling (American, 1924-2011)

May Day, New York, 1948

  • Gelatin silver print
  • 7 5/8 x 7 15/16 in. (19.4 x 20.2 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Purchase: Esther Leah Ritz Bequest, 2008-91
  • Digital image © 2010 The Jewish Museum, New York Photo by Ardon Bar Hama

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May Day, New York

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May Day, New York

May Day (May 1) has been known as International Workers’ Day since Chicago’s Haymarket Riot in May 1886, when it first became associated with the struggle for improved workers’ rights. In many countries, the day is marked annually with political celebrations, demonstrations, and protests—often by communists and socialists but by other groups as well.

Historically, workers in May Day parades in New York City would march down Broadway to Union Square, where rally organizers would give speeches. This event was a popular subject for League members, many of whom sympathized with the international labor movement.

Liebling’s photograph was taken during New York’s 1948 May Day parade. The image was taken in Union Square near the arched pavilion on the square’s north side.