The Meaning Behind Labor Day
The Origin of Labor Day
Many mark the first Monday in September the last day of summer, but very few really know the true meaning behind Labor Day.Scholars argue about who thought up of the idea to celebrate the American worker. Some say it was a machinist who was serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union (aka CLU) in New York who first proposed the idea, by the name of Matthew Maguire. Others claim that it was Peter J. McGuire, who witnessed a similar event that was being held in Toronto, Canada who thought of the idea & who was also a member of the American Federation of Labor.
Both men claim to have proposed the idea in 1882
It wasn’t until 1887 until the first state officially made Labor Day a federal holiday. Oregon was the first state to celebrate Labor Day. By 1894, thirty states recognized Labor Day as a federal holiday.
But still, there were a few states who refused to accept the idea of a day set aside for the American worker. That is until the famous “Pullman Strike” happened & a number of workers died by the hands of the United States military and the United States Marshals. President Grover Cleveland feared further conflict & immediately reconciled with the leader of the labor movement; as so did the United States Congress, who unanimously voted that ALL states will recognize Labor Day as a national holiday. President Cleveland signed the bill in just six days after the strike to make it official.
The first Monday in September was chosen for a reason
The CLU first suggested the idea that Labor Day should be in September so that way there would be no conflict with those who celebrate International Workers Day which rallied up mostly Communists, Syndicates & anarchists.
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