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The History of Labor Day

Labor Day Information * Labor Day History * Why do we celebrate Labor Day?

 

 

 

Why do we celebrate Labor Day?

Labor Day Information * Labor Day History

During the Industrial Revolution, in the late 1800’s, the average Americans worked very long hours. They did not know what it meant to have “days off”. Every day was a work day, also Saturdays and Sundays. They spend about 12 hours at work to afford a normal living standard. Even children were working under hard conditions to earn a living for their families.

To protest against these terrible working conditions, about 10,000 workers gathered in New York City and marched from City Hall to Union Square on September 5th 1882. This was the first Labor Day parade. Year after year more states were to follow to create more awareness to the working situation in their states;  12 years later in 1894, workers in Chicago started protesting against the horrible working conditions of a railroad manufacturing company.

They asked for support from their union leader, Eugene V. Debs, and he called for a boycott for all railway cars. About 50,000 rail workers listened and traffic came to a hold in the city. Riots then started and blood was shed.  In order to avoid further escalations president Grover Cleveland was forced to send troops to Chicago. The administration was able to get the city under control and stop the strikes. Union leader Debs and three other union officials were send to jail for disobedience towards this injunction.

Afterwards, congress announced that the first Monday in September should be a public holiday for workers in every State.  Today, we are celebrating Labor Day mainly as the last summer weekend before fall starts.

Labor Day Information * Labor Day History * Why do we celebrate Labor Day?
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