Monday, September 1, 2014

5 For Labor Day: Have a Wonderful Holiday!


As you are celebrating Labor Day with friends and family, take a few minutes to see how far we have come:

  • At the height of the Industrial Revolution, the average American worker worked 12-hour days, seven days a week to make a very basic living. Children as young as 5 or 6 worked.
  • As labor and unions organized to improve working conditions, some of the rallies that served as a foundation for Labor Day turned bloody. During the Haymarket Riot in 1886, several workers and policeman died. During the Pullman Railroad Stike of 1894, dozens died.
  • While the holiday can be traced to a New York City parade in 1882, Labor Day did not become a national holiday until 1896.
  • Union leaders pushed for a September date for Labor Day to coincide with the New York City Knights of Labor Conference. The Knights of Labor happened to be one of the largest unions.
  • There is some debate over who the founder of the holiday is. Some credit Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, for proposing the idea first. Others credit Peter McGuire, co-founder of American  Federation of Labor.
Have a great day with family and friends! 

Sources: History Channel: Labor Day
             Huffington Post: The Bloody Origin of Labor Day
             Time Magazine: Here's Why we Celebrate Labor Day

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