Wednesday, September 2

A to Z: A Short History of Labor Day

To current American families, Labor Day signals the end of summer and a day off from work or school. However, Labor Day’s true intention is to celebrate the goals and achievements of American workers. The first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City where workers spent the day attending parades, picnics, and addresses by community leaders. It wasn’t until 1894 that Congress passed a law making Labor Day a national holiday.

Through the Industrial Revolution, Americans worked long hours in harsh conditions. Labor unions soon became popular, as they acted as advocates for disparaged workers and children in the workforce. Peter McGuire, a New York City carpenter, is credited with the idea of implementing a national worker’s holiday. McGuire dedicated over a decade to organizing strikes, fighting for higher wages, and promoting workers’ rights.


So this Monday, while enjoying time with family and friends, take a moment to celebrate the workers who built America and paved the way for the social and economic prosperity that hard-working Americans enjoy today.

Contributed by Rebecca Stokes, Fairmont Private Schools
Images and Video by History.com, Loc.gov,  & Wikipedia.com

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