On May 1, 1891, the Fusillade de Fourmies occurred. It was the first French and international celebration of the International Workers' Day on May Day. In Fourmies, troops shot at peaceful strikers: nine died, including 8 demonstrators of under 21 years old, among which a young worker who will remain a symbol, Marie Blondeau. Marie was at the front of the parade carrying flowers when she was killed.Thirty-five more people were wounded.
The shooting of the 1st of May in Fourmies caused a sharp emotion in whole France. It is regarded today as one of the founding events of the French Section of the Workers' International.