Pictures of the Day: May Day in Union Square, 1912 and 2012

Class warfare? Demonstrations in the streets of New York? Our grandparents and great-grandparents saw it all, too.

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bogieharmond / Flickr

Via friend of The Atlantic Teju Cole, here is an amazing juxtaposition. The top photo, labeled "Socialists in Union Sq." shows a 1912 rally in that New York public space on May Day, the traditional leftist celebration that began after the 1886 Haymarket Rally. The bottom photo shows another rally on Tuesday in the same place. What has changed? The contemporary crowd includes women (although, in this shot at least, it's still an overwhelming male group, and the Occupy movement has struggled to include women) and there are fewer hats. Otherwise, however, it's a familiar scene -- right down to the signs the demonstrators are using, which may use different language, but express many of the same ideas.

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David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers political and global news. He previously reported for Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, and The National.

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