Pins and Needles Day is celebrated on November 27th of each year to commemorate Pins and Needles, a musical revue with a book by Arthur Arent, Marc Blitzstein, Emmanuel Eisenberg, Charles Friedman, David Gregory, Joseph Schrank, Arnold B. Horwitt, John Latouche, and Harold Rome and music and lyrics by Rome.
The title “Pins and Needles” was created by Max Danish, long-time editor of the International Ladies Garment Workers Union (ILGWU)’s newspaper “Justice”.
Originally written for a small theatrical production, the first production of “Pins and Needles” was directed by Samuel Roland. After a two week professional run, it was adapted for performances by members of the then-striking International Garment Workers’ Union as an entertainment for its members. Because Roland was associated with left-wing causes, he was asked by ILGWU president David Dubinsky to withdraw.
The better-known ILGWU production was directed by Charles Friedman and choreographed by Benjamin Zemach. It opened on November 27, 1937 at the Labor Stage Theatre and then transferred to the Windsor Theatre on January 1, 1939, finally closing on June 22, 1940 after 1108 performances.