Today in Cold War history: the Taksim Square massacre (1977)

You probably don’t need me to tell you that today is May Day, since I’m betting your ability to keep track of which day it is exceeds mine. May Day’s origins go back to pre-Christian European cultures, but nowadays for much of the world it’s also International Workers’ Day and, in some countries, Labor Day. Ironically, for a date chosen to commemorate the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago, May 1 is not the official labor holiday in the United States. The US government commemorates Labor Day, very reluctantly, on the first Monday in September, a date that probably predates Haymarket in its origins but was selected for the federal holiday in part because May 1 is too workery and internationalist and socialist for American politicians to countenance. Anyway, I digress.

Read the rest now at my new home, Foreign Exchanges!

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