Thursday, 22 August 2019

What Is Labor Day?

Labor Day was created in the late 19th century by the labor movement and became a federal holiday in 1894.

At the height of the Industrial Revolution, the average United States citizen was working 12 hour days and seven day weeks in order to survive. Children as young as 5 had to work in mills, factories, and mine, despite restrictions. The children earned merely a fraction of what the adults would earn. The workers, particularly the very poor, faced extremely dangerous work situations, with no access to fresh air, clean facilities, and breaks. Around this time, in the late 18th century, labor unions grew more prominent and vocal. The began organizing rallies and would help workers form strikes to protest the poor conditions and the awful hours and pay workers would receive. Unfortunately, many of these events turned violent, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, which cost several Chicago policemen their lives. On September 5th, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the very first Labor Day parade in United States History.

Today, many of us celebrate with a day of relaxation. Parades, parties, BBQs and more. However you celebrate, thank you for your hard work and enjoy your labor day!

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