Labor Day

Written by: Ashley Nevarez-Casas

Labor day occurs every Monday, September 2nd. According to Labor day; “tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September.” It was created when the labor day movement in the 19th century became a federal holiday in 1894. The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. Following the deaths of 13 workers during the Pullman Strike in June 1 894. Labor Day is also known for the end of summer for many Americans also for the long weekend. Which is celebrated with parties, parades etc. As David says “For Labor Day I go camping with my family since Friday till Monday afternoon.” The American labor movement was among the strongest in the world at the time.

We celebrate Labor Day as an annual celebration of workers and their achievements. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks. Children as young as 5 or 6 struggled in mills, factories and mines across the country. People of all ages and immigrants especially the very poor worked in very hard conditions. The History of Labor Day says they “often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.” They began to organize protests for poor conditions.

“The "father" of Labor Day and May Day, as well as the founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, Peter J. McGuire was one of the most remarkable figures in the history of the American labor movement.” as per America’s Union McGuire has probably done more than anyone else. He was born in New York City into a poor Irish Catholic family. McGuire quit school at age 11 to work when his father went off to fight in the Union Army. While working at odd jobs, McGuire attended the free night classes at Cooper Union. David also says “How did he do it, it must of been hard.” He is known to be “The father of Labor Day.”