The Haymarket Tragedy

During the nation-wide strike for the 8-hour workday, which began May 1, 1886, a mass meeting was held in the Chicago haymarket to protest a police action of the previous day in which workers were killed. When police ordered the protest meeting to disperse (peaceful though it was), a bomb was thrown by an unknown person, killing several officers. This became known as the "Haymarket Riot." The 8-Hour Day Movement was destroyed in the nation-wide hysteria which followed.


The site is at Randolph and Desplaines Streets, just a few blocks west of the Loop. Look for the official bronze marker. It is flush in the sidewalk on the east side of Desplaines and a few steps north of Randolph.

Additional Articles on the Haymarket Tragedy

May Day Remembered  

From the Pardon Message  

Govenor John Peter Altgeld Pardons the Haymarket Prisoners

Eulogy at Waldheim Cemetery

A Labor Icon  

The Haymarket Plaque  

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The Illinois Labor History Society
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Phone: (312) 663-4107