Framework

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Sept. 6, 1937: About 50,000 Los Angeles-area workers march in the annual Labor Day parade on Spring Street in a photo taken from Los Angeles City Hall. The parade contained more than 50 floats and 23 bands. The Times Building is on the left and State Building on right. This photo was published in the Sept. 7, 1937, Los AngelesTimes.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA

Sept. 7, 1936: 35,000 workers march in the Labor Day parade on Broadway. This photo was published in the Sept. 8, 1936, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Sept. 5, 1938: The American Federation of Musicians float in the Labor Day parade. An estimated 70,000 people marched in the parade. This photo was published in the Sept. 6, 1938, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Sept. 4, 1939: A majorette leads a band at 7th and Broadway during annual Labor Day parade. This photo was published in the Sept. 5, 1939, Los Angeles and also was posted on this blog for Labor Day, 2011.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Sept. 1, 1941: Letter carriers and postal clerks had both marching units and a float in the Labor Day parade. The Times estimated that 150,000 marched in the parade that took six hours to pass the reviewing stand at Los Angeles City Hall. This photo was published in the Sept. 2, 1941, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Sep7. 7, 1942: Members of the Meat Cutters Union, Local No. 421, line up at the door of Blood Bank during Labor Day. In 1942, the Times reported that Labor Day was celebrated by the launching of eight ships in Los Angeles shipyards. This photo was published in the Sept. 8, 1942, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Sept. 6, 1943: World War II Labor Day "parade" consisted of workers at Los Angeles Shipbuilding & Drydock Corp. in San Pedro heading to lunch. This photo was published in the Sept. 7, 1943, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Sept. 4, 1944: California State Guard troopers demonstrate their training during El Monte's Labor Day parade. The parade was followed by a rodeo. This photo was published in the Sept. 5, 1944, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Sept. 2, 1946: On the Labor Day parade reviewing stand at Los Angeles City Hall are left to right, W. J. Bassett, secretary-treasurer of Central Labor Council; Dist. Atty. Fred Howser, D. D. McClurg, grand marshal of A.F.L. parade, and Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz. This photo was published in the Sept. 3, 1946, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Phil Bath / Los Angeles Times

Sept. 1, 1947: The longshoremen are one of the largest groups in the C.I.O. Labor Day parade proceeding down Broadway. In separate parades, the A.F.L. had about 45, 000 marching, the C.I.O. had 40,000.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

Sept. 6, 1948: The American Federation of Labor color guard leads the Labor Day parade on Spring Street in front of Los Angeles City Hall.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Phil Bath / Los Angeles Times

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Labor Day 1936-1948

Celebrated on the first Monday in September, Labor Day recognizes the contributions of American workers. For years, major parades were held in downtown Los Angeles.

Following the Sept. 6, 1937, Labor Day parade, a Los Angeles Times article reported:

Combining colorful pageantry with sheer numbers, Los Angeles units of the American Federation Labor yesterday staged the most demonstrative Labor Day celebration in their history.

“There must have been 50,000 marchers,” declared Secretary J. W. Buzzell of Central Labor Council.

“A very wonderful parade and the nicest thing about Los Angeles’ celebration was that it was all peaceful and in good spirit,” Mayor Shaw commented after the last of the marchers had passed the reviewing stand.

Whatever the number of the marchers, it took them exactly one hour and forty-five minutes to pass the City Hall reviewing stand over a line of march fifteen blocks long.

How many persons stood in an almost double line along the line of march to witness the union demonstration could only be widely estimated but it must have run into the hundreds of thousands…

In all, 191 units of the council participated. There were more than fifty floats and twenty-three bands.

This photo gallery consists of Times images from Labor Day parades from 1936 through 1948. Most images are of parades in Downtown Los Angeles.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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1 Comment

  1. September 1, 2012, 5:28 am

    Today's "Labor Movement" and parades happen on 1 May, International Workers Day in what was the Soviet Union.

    You will see pandering politicians, illegal aliens and their young anchor babies, protesting, not celebrating, about their lives, here in Los Angeles.

    I suggest you take a hard look at these pictures and compare them to the photo-ops given to SEIU functions.

    Most unions have become un-American and the the Communist influence has a death-grip on it's members.

    By: Steve M.

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