Labor Day 2017 is on Friday, September 1, 2017: what is the history of labor day?
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Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.
The 1935 Labor Day Hurricane was the strongest tropical cyclone of the 1935 Atlantic hurricane season, and the most intense hurricane to make landfall in the United States and the Atlantic Basin in recorded history.
To prevent further conflict following a Pullman Strikes of 1894 where lots of worker’s deaths happened as a result of the U.S. military and marshalls, legislation making Labor Day a nationwide holiday was rushed through Congress.In The Usa, Labor Day is viewed as each day of relaxation and parties, and it is marked by the beginning of the National football league and nfl and college football seasons. It is also viewed as the symbolic finish of summer time.
"Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country," said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. "All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man's prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day...is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation."
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, 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.
Founder of Labor Day
More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.
Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.
The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
Labor Day Legislation
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From them developed the movement to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
A Nationwide Holiday
The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were 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" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. 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.
The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. This change, however, is more a shift in emphasis and medium of expression. Labor Day addresses by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics and government officials are given wide coverage in newspapers, radio, and television.
The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.
Okay, Labor Day?
Labour Day is an annual holiday celebrated all over the world that resulted from efforts of the labour union movement, to celebrate the economic and social achievements of workers.
The celebration of Labour Day has its origins in the eight hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest. On 21 April 1856 Stonemasons and building workers on building sites around Melbourne, Australia, stopped work and marched from the University of Melbourne to Parliament House to achieve an eight hour day. Their direct action protest was a success, and they are noted as the first organized workers in the world to achieve an eight hour day with no loss of pay, which subsequently inspired the celebration of Labour Day and May Day.
Labor day is for celebrating the achievements of labor unions.
Back in the bad old days, there weren't a lot of protections for workers. They could be fired for any reason--fair or unfair; people worked in dangerous conditions without safety equipment; they slaved for terrible wages and if they asked for better pay they were fired. We can thank labor unions for: child labor laws, the weekend, the 8-hour workday, overtime, worker's compensation, fire escapes in factories, maternity leave, the minimum wage, and a lot more.
Of course, now big companies send the jobs to China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Guatemala and other developing nations where they don't have labor unions. People over there get screwed just like American laborers got screwed eighty years ago. If labor unions in those places can get a foothold, maybe some of those jobs will come back to U.S. soil. And the U.S. government could stick up for those foreign labor unions a lot more than they do now. It would really be in the best interest of U.S. workers.
You might want to watch the movie Norma Rae. It's based on the true story of a woman who helped bring the union into textile mills in S. Carolina. It won an Oscar and is very entertaining. Another good movie about American labor is Matewan, directed by John Sayles.
So today, thank unions like the AFL-CIO for much of your quality of life!