Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Happy Labor Day

by | September 3, 2013

Happy Labor Day Red image

While you’re preparing for your Labor Day BBQ today, getting the backyard in order for your family and friends, and cheering that it’s time for the kids to go back to school, let’s not forget what the day is all about. It’s a day set aside to pay tribute to the achievements and contributions of the average America worker.

The movement to establish Labor Day began in 1882. There is some confusion whether the idea originated with Matthew Maquire, a machinist, and secretary of the Central Labor Union (CLU) in New York, or Peter J. McGuire, secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) after experiencing the annual labor festival in Toronto, Canada. Regardless of who initiated the idea it was the CLU who adopted the idea and established a committee to organize the celebration on September 5, 1882 in New York City.  

The first Monday in September was chosen because it is the mid-point between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. The day became popular with unions and local governments long before it was adopted by Congress and signed into law by President Grover Cleveland in 1894. While the President did not advocate unions, recent events that had required him to send in troops to put down a union railway strike. He took this opportunity to gather some political capital.

Over the years, Labor Day has encompassed not only the factory worker but government works, educators, and other workers. For some it’s the end of summer vacation, wearing white, and back into the school routine. Parades and street parties have given way to great sales at the mall and backyard BBQs. Cheers for the last day of summer.

How will you celebrate this Labor Day?




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