Have you ever wondered the history of Labor Day? We have, so we decided to share our findings.
Historically, Labor Day was created to celebrate the working American’s achievements and push for better hours, pay and safety. Workers in the late 1800’s suffered long hours – 7 days a week – in environments lacking fresh air, clean water or sanitary bathrooms. Workers had few to no breaks and earned very little pay for their time and efforts. Children as young as 5 years of age were forced to work in the same conditions for even less wages.
Violent strikes began by labor unions across the country to fight against the injustice. In one particularly memorable feat, over 10,000 workers took unpaid time off on September 5th, 1882, to march and rally in New York City. This marks the United States’ first Labor Day parade.
Despite the tradition continuing the first Monday of September every year following, it wasn’t until 12 years later that Congress legalized the holiday.
Luckily working conditions have improved drastically since the 1800’s and what was once a dangerous fight for a better life is now celebrated with BBQs, fireworks, picnics, parades, boating and pool parties.