The first Monday in September of each year marks the celebration of the Labor Day holiday. Most of us get super excited because it is basically a day off to bid summer farewell with a last backyard barbeque or simply unwind and get mentally prepared for autumn. Yet, it is interesting to know that most of us are unaware of the origins of this particular holiday and what it truly represents.
So, what do we celebrate Labor Day?
It was back in 1882 when this holiday came to be as a result of the labor movement and thus was designated as a day of rest to acknowledge the efforts of the average working men and women. While there is a bit of controversy as to who first advocated the idea of Labor Day, quite a lot of historians usually credit a man called Peter J. McGuire (the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners as well as a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor) as the man who first proposed for the this holiday’s establishment.
On the other hand, according to historians in more recent years, a machinist named Mathew Maguire could be held responsible for bringing forth this holiday while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York City. Regardless of the divergence as to who is to be accredited, it was ultimately the Central Labor Union that adopted a Labor Day proposal and assigning a committee to arrange for an official celebration on September 5, 1882 in New York City.
The first Monday in September was allocated as the holiday since the day happened to be halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. This idea grew to be very favored with various labor unions and local governments around the country, and then municipalities little by little came to embrace Labor Day as an official holiday before the notion grew popular support and turned into a national holiday.
However, the official recognition of Labor Day as a national holiday for the working men and women was inaugurated as a result of a law signed by President Grover Cleveland. Despite the fact that Cleveland himself was not a significant labor union supporter, he believed the legislation enacting Labor Day as a national holiday to be a symbolic antidote for political damages he had endures earlier that same year. Meanwhile, he used federal troops to obstruct an American Railway Union strike in Chicago thus resulting in the killing of 34 railroad workers.
Originally, Labor Day was celebrated with huge public demonstrations of workers consolidating, usually in the forms of rallies and parades in the streets. Yet, these large parades grew to be pointless over the years as industrial centers developed. Nevertheless, the holiday is usually accepted with pride in recognition of the contributions that workers all around America and Canada have made to the overall welfare of the North American continent.
As these nations have become more industry-conscience, the laborers’’ efforts have made an impeccable effect in the creation of a higher standard of living among the citizenry anywhere and everywhere in the world. After all, the general expression of Labor Day has bolstered to include not only traditional factory workers, but government workers as well as educators and many other working people who have all contributed to the prosperity of the nations they represent.