Labor Day

The world is agreed that labor is the source from which human wants are mainly supplied.-Lincoln

Labor Day honors the contributions of working men and women to America’s
social and economic life.

Q: When was Labor Day first celebrated in the United States?

A: After the first Labor Day in New York City, celebrations began to spread to
other states as workers fought to win workplace rights and better working
conditions and wages at a time when they had little power.

In 1893, New York City workers took an unpaid day off and marched around Union
Square in support of a national Labor Day. The following year, 12,000 federal
troops were called into Pullman, Ill., to break up a huge strike against the
Pullman railway company and two workers were shot and killed by U.S. deputy
marshals.

In what most historians call an election-year attempt to appease workers after
the federal crackdown on the Pullman strike, shortly after the strike was
broken, President Grover Cleveland signed legislation making the first Monday
in September Labor Day and a federal holiday. Cleveland lost the election.

Q: When did Labor Day become a national holiday?

A: After the first Labor Day in New York City, celebrations began to spread to
other states as workers fought to win workplace rights and better working
conditions and wages at a time when they had little power. In 1893, New York
City workers took an unpaid day off and marched around Union Square in support
of a national Labor Day. The following year, 12,000 federal troops were called
into Pullman, Ill., to break up a huge strike against the Pullman railway
company and two workers were shot and killed by U.S. deputy marshals. In what
most historians call an election year attempt to appease workers after the
federal crackdown on the Pullman strike, shortly after the strike was broken,
President Grover Cleveland signed legislation making the first Monday in
September Labor Day and a federal holiday.

Q: Who founded Labor Day?

A: That’s a matter of dispute among historians. Some say Peter J. McGuire,
general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder
of the American Federation of Labor, first suggested a day to honor workers.
Others credit Matthew Maguire, a machinist who served as secretary of the
Central Labor Union in New York.

Q: Is Labor Day just about unions?

A: No. The U.S. Department of Labor describes Labor Day this way: “It 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.”

Ref: http://www.aflcio.org/upload/laborday2011/index.html?continue=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aflcio.org%2Findex.cfm

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