From the Archives: Celebrating Labor Day, 1936-1948
For years, major parades in downtown Los Angeles marked Labor Day, which is held the first Monday of every September and honors the American labor movement.
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 of 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 Frank L. 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 45 minutes to pass the City Hall reviewing stand over a line 15 blocks long.
How many persons stood along the line of marchers 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 50 floats and 23 bands.