Great Preparedness Day Parade

During the spring and summer of 1916 "Preparedness Day Parades" led by business groups were staged nationwide to try and convince Congress to pass pending bills to increase the size of the military. Organized labor refused to participate despite the urging of Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor. While Chicago was one of the centers of the labor movement and the Chicago Federation of Labor opposed the parade and urged union members not to participate, Chicago also had the largest Preparedness Day parade.