Celebrating Labor Day

Happy Labor Day, to those of you in the United States and Canada.  Labor Day, for many of us signals the end of summer vacation but let's not forget about the history behind this great holiday.  Labor Day, a celebration of workers, was introduced at a time when work was a lot more grueling than it generally is today. Think about the Industrial Revolution during the early 1800s.  The average American was working 12-hours a day, seven-days a week in order to earn a meager living. Young children worked in factories and mills under terrible circumstances. 

Long hours, unsafe and unsanitary working conditions, and poor treatment by management, forced labor unions to organize and workers began holding strikes and protest rallies.  Our voices were heard.

New York City held the first Labor Day celebration on September 5th 1882. About 10,000 union workers marched in a parade to honor American workers who worked without any labor laws. This celebration was the catalyst that spread the Labor Day sentiment across America. Congress passed an act in 1894 making the first Monday of September a legal holiday, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

So, if you're fortunate enough to have the day off, as not everyone does, relax and take a moment of silence to thank the hardworking men, women, children and unions, from the late 1800’s for their efforts to create the much improved working conditions we now have.  

To workers everywhere Happy Labor Day.

Thank you so much for joining us today!

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Quote to take with you for the week:

Gail KhanComment