In the months preceding the May 1st deadline, thousands of workers in cities across the U.S. joined local unions or Knights of Labor assemblies and on May 1, they organized parades, demonstrations and strikes -- in fact, some 350,000 workers struck that day. Although many achieved a shorter work day as a result, the victory was short-lived. Within a week, the explosion of a bomb at Haymarket
Square in Chicago, turned public attention against the labor movement. It would be another three years before the Federation's successor, the American Federation of Labor, took up the eight-hour campaign again.