We Mean to Make Things Over: A History of May Day

2020, Historical Documentary

Release Year: 2022
Country: USA
Director: Fred Glass
Writer: Fred Glass
Producer: Rick Tejada-Florez


We Mean to Make Things Over: A History of May Day is a new half-hour documentary video exploring how May Day became a worker’s holiday all over the world except in the United States despite the fact that the events that inspired the holiday occurred here. At a time when celebrating May Day is making a comeback, the American labor movement is showing renewed militancy, and public support for labor is at a half century peak, the appearance of We Mean to Make Things Over is extremely timely.
Using historical images, contemporary illustrations by Berkeley artist Jos Sances, and animation by L.A.-based animator Paul Zappia, We Mean to Make Things Over is an educational and entertaining tour of a long-suppressed story from American working-class history, highlighting the fraught connections between the struggle for the eight-hour day, general strikes, immigrant worker rights and a holiday that symbolizes the aspirations of the working class for a more just society.


"The artwork of Joe Sances and Paul Zappia graces We mean to make things over is a half hour documentary that chronicles the repressed history of International Workers Day, or May Day, in the country of its origin, United States."

About the director

 Fred Glass

Fred Glass was the communications director for the California Federation of Teachers for nearly thirty years before retiring in 2017. During that same time period he taught labor history at City College of San Francisco, where he taught his last class, spring semester 2023.

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