While many Americans celebrate the first Monday in September with parades, barbecues and firework displays, there is much history to be noted. Labor Day is an annual celebration of workers and their achievements and contributions to the well-being of our country.
Did you know that, in the 1800's Americans used to work 12 hour shifts, seven days a week, just to make enough to live?
According to history.com, "People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks." Labor unions had their first appearance, going on strike, to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in NYC, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.
And in 1894, Labor Day became a federal holiday after major unrest when troops were dispatched to Chicago to break the Pullman Palace Car Company's strike resulting in a riot.
Fun Fact from timeanddate.com, " One of the reasons for choosing to celebrate this on the first Monday in September, and not on May 1, which is common in the rest of the world, was to add a holiday in the long gap between Independence Day and Thanksgiving."
Happy Labor Day to all Americans and thank you for your hard work and dedication to this country. Without the people America would not be where we are today. Rest and relax this Labor Day.