Eight Hour Day procession
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On 21 April 1856, following negotiations between building tradesmen and contractors, and with the approval of the colonial government, an eight hour day was introduced into the building trades in Melbourne. Eight Hour Day processions were held annually on 21 April and in 1879 the Victorian government declared that day a public holiday. For several decades Eight Hour Day processions became large public celebrations, as workers marched, with elaborate banners, floats and bands through Melbourne and various country towns, watched by tens of thousands of people.