Sep 2, 2008

The History of Labor Day

Do you know how Labor Day came about? After the start of the Industrial Revolution, the average American was working 12 hour days, 7 days a week. Children were being worked to the point where it broke many of the child labor laws. Read more.

Because of the poor working conditions, American unions had to take a prominent role in helping to make a better working life for our hard workers. On September 5, 1882, the first ever Labor Day parade was held in New York City. The second, in accordance with the Central Labor Union, was held a year later. It became a national holiday 11 years later.

May Day is also known as International Workers’ Day and is celebrated by all other countries except the United States and Canada on May 1. It is the commemoration of the Haymarket Event in Chicago in 1886. Its origins are centered on an 8 hour day; 8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation and 8 hours for sleep.
Still recognizing the history of May Day, The United States Government declared it “Law Day” for May 1 and gave the workers instead the first Monday in September, “Labor Day.”

According to the Department of Labor, Labor Day “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

To read more on Labor Day, click here.

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