Sunday, September 5, 2010

The Story Behind Labor Day...

Do you know the story behind Labor Day?

I didn't, so I googled it.

Here's what I found out....

"For a lot of people, Labor Day means two things: a day off and the end of summer. But why is it called Labor Day? Labor Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to working men and women. It has been celebrated as a national holiday in the United States and Canada since 1894.

Labor unions themselves celebrated the first labor days in the United States, although there's some speculation as to exactly who came up with the idea. Most historians credit Peter McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co founder of the American Federation of Labor, with the original idea of a day for workers to show their solidarity. Others credit Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J.

The first Labor Day parade occurred Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. The workers' unions chose the first Monday in September because it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. The idea spread across the country, and some states designated Labor Day as a holiday before the federal holiday was created.

President Grover Cleveland signed a law designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day nationwide. This is interesting because Cleveland was not a labor union supporter. In fact, he was trying to repair some political damage that he suffered earlier that year when he sent federal troops to put down a strike by the American Railway Union at the Pullman Co. in Chicago, IL. That action resulted in the deaths of 34 workers.

In European countries, China and other parts of the world, May Day, the first day in May, is a holiday to celebrate workers and labor unions. Before it became an international workers holiday, May Day was a celebration of spring and the promise of summer.

Membership in labor unions in the United States reached an all-time high in the 1950s when about 40 percent of the work force belonged to unions. Today, union membership is about 14 percent of the working population. Labor Day now carries less significance as a celebration of working people and more as the end of summer. Schools, government offices and businesses are closed on Labor Day so people can get in one last trip to the beach or have one last cookout before the weather starts to turn colder. "

Where I found the article

So there you have it, the reason why we celebrate Labor day.

Now start the barbecue, grab a cocktail and gather around the table for some fun with family and friends!!

Source of photo unknown



Dawn said...

Happy Labor Day Angie!!

p.s. I did know about Tracy's store!! Do you think you might make a drive up there?? I am not able to make a trip now, but I sure do hope to in the future...and I will beg her on her blog to meet me there!! :)

Nikki@KreativeKnack said...

Gotta love Google...very interesting stuff, its nice to learn something new :)
Have a wonderful Labors day!

Ms.Karen said...

That was very interesting. I didn't know that little tid bit about Grover Cleveland. His homestead is in the next small town next to mine. Now I'll have another interesting bit a trivia to share. Happy Labor day!

Sommer said...

I'm so glad I could count on you to do the research for us! LOL. I knew bits and pieces of the story but that was nice to get low down! Have a Happy Labor Day! Oh by the way... I found out ten years ago on Labor day I was pregnant with my first child =)

Leanne said...

Wow ... thanks for the info, Ang! I actually never thought of it, other than remembering my Aunt (who was very fashionable) telling me (when I was a kid) that I couldn't wear white shoes after Labor Day. I was so confused, because I would usually wear white tennis shoes to school! I told my mom once that she needed to buy me some new shoes because I refused to wear the white ones. She got angry w/my aunt, and I spent the rest of the year in white shoes!!! Very interesting post!

Lissa said...

I'm just so thankful to have one more day off with Neal and the girls before the rat race starts tomorrow. Enjoy this day!

Debbie said...

I knew some of that...Love that table scape..oh so pretty. Enjoy the day Angie.

Trish said...

hmmmmm.....I feel so much smarter now! Thanks!

Oh, guess what I did on Labor Day???? I finally painted the bedroom (and its not Tiffany Blue!!!!!)