It’s Labor Day weekend and not having any real labor planned I wondered about how the first Monday in September, came to be a holiday.
We have religious holidays (Christmas, Easter), historical holidays (Thanksgiving, Independence Day), holidays that celebrate presidents (President’s day), we honor our war heroes (Menorial and Veteran’s day) and other great men (MLK, Columbus), so how did we get a Labor Day?
1. The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City.
2. It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, (There are 22 right to work states, wonder why they celebrate labor unions?)
3. President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.
(Congress must have been “gassed” they haven’t moved that quickly since)
4. The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations. (Wonder what Meg Whitman’s proposals will do to their esprit de corps?)
5. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
6. Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. and more importantly - Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons. - ARE YOU READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL?
In Riverside County the unemployment rate is over 15%, let's hope that on Labor Day 2011 (September 5) that more families will actually feel like it's a holiday.
Thanks to Wikipedia for the info.