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Friday, December 4, 2020

A quick “history” of Labor Day

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Labor Day is annually held on the first Monday of September. It was originally organized to celebrate various labor associations’ strengths of and contributions to the United States economy. {{more}}

 
The first Labor Day was held in 1882. It became a federal holiday in 1894. All Government offices, schools and organizations and many businesses are closed.
 
It was originally intended that the day would be filled with a street parade to allow the public to appreciate the work of the trade and labor organizations. After the parade, a festival was to be held to amuse local workers and their families. In later years, prominent men and women held speeches. This is less common now, but is sometimes seen in election years.
 

Today, some public celebrations, such as fireworks displays, picnics and barbecues, are organized, but they are usually low key events. For many teams, it is the start of the football season.

 
One of the reasons for choosing to celebrate this on the first Monday in September was to add a holiday in the long gap between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. Source: TimeandDate.com
 
The following in the history of the Labor Day movement according to Wikipedia. (Click to see the foot notes in the below material).

In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York.[2] Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Laborin May 1882,[3] after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada.[4] Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.[3]

Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.[5]The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation’s trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers’ Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would be associated with the nascent Communist, Syndicalist and Anarchist movements that, though distinct from one another, had rallied to commemorate the Haymarket Affair in International Workers’ Day.[6]

 

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