May Day or May 1, is the day that the world celebrates workers in different fields.

Drumheller is rich with history when it comes to celebrating the top labour job over 100 years ago, coal mining.

"In Drumheller here, (May Day) it was to raise awareness of safety issues and workers rights. Also a chance to celebrate and have sports and ice cream for the kids," said Atlas Coal Mine curator, Jay Russell. "For us, it's almost as important as Christmas Day."

May Day became international in 1886 and unions legally established that full-time workers would only be allowed to work eight hour work days. Back in the late 1880s, business owners would have workers working up to 15 hours a day.

Historically, Drumheller would have a march on May Day that numbered in the thousands.acm 1388Photo by Vogue Studios, from the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site archives

"Sometimes, the May Day march was actually bigger then the Dominion Day parade," explained Russell. "Historically, when May Day happened, even though it wasn't a statutory holiday, the kids wouldn't go to school and the miners would march.

While the dollar amount being paid to people is exponentially different from the 1900s, the hard work we put into our crafts will never be taken for granted and that's why May Day continues to be celebrated.

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