Protesters lie on the ground wounded or killed during a re-creation of a protest march where seven workers died in the late 1800’s. Several hundred people gathered at the Bay View Rolling Mills Historical Marker near Superior St. and Russell to remember the 127th anniversary of The Bay View Tragedy. Workers, marching for the 8-hour day were fired upon by the state militia. Seven were killed in the state’s bloodiest event involving working people, according to information provided by the Wisconsin Labor Historical Society. The event took place Sunday, May 5, 2013. Journal Sentinel photo by RICK WOOD/ RWOOD@JOURNALSENTINEL.COM

On the Fifth of May, 1886, thousands of Milwaukee workers marched peacefully on the huge Bay View Rolling Mills as part of a nationwide effort to bring about the 8-hour day. The State Militia fired on them, killing seven. This was the bloodiest labor disturbance in Wisconsin’s history, and began a new struggle for a more humane workplace and a more just society.

The Bay View Tragedy Re-enactment will take place again May 7th, 3 PM and we need volunteers to join in as marchers striking for the 8-hour day. No previous acting experience needed!

Just show up for rehearsal at 1 p.m. on the day of the commemoration at the Rolling Mills Marker Site at S. Superior St. and E. Russell Ave. The whole event starts at 3 PM with the Re-enactment (about 15 minutes) and is followed by songs and speeches.

If you can, wear clothing that might duplicate the look of 1886 workers; otherwise, there may be some outfits for you at the rehearsal. The photo below shows volunteer marchers behind the huge puppet labor leader.

IMPORTANT: Please R.S.V.P. to Barbara Leigh, either on facebook or email: ( so that we can have a count and meet costume needs. And if you have questions, just ask! Thank you!!!