Being one of the main holidays in the US, Labor Day is an important landmark for every American. The first Monday in September marks the start of school, the end of summer holidays, and a welcome day to sales. Moreover, this holiday has a profound meaning and a long history that goes back to the beginning of the American labor movement.
Labor Day Celebration: History
Labor Day originated in 1882, the year of the first New York City organized parade. There was a rally known as a “monster labor festival” arranged by the Union leaders. About ten thousand people decided to surrender their pay for the day of September 5 so as to march and join festivities that became annual. The day got the status of a national holiday in Oregon later, in 1887. A few other states joined the tradition, and eventually, in 1896, the Americans got a new national holiday.
Labor Day and International Workers Day;
Day The first Labor Day holiday was held on the day of the conference in the city of the Knights of Labor. Starting from the third holiday, the scheduled date was the first Monday in September. Soon, there was a clash with the date of the first of May, known as the International Worker’s Day. It all started with the Haymarket Affair on May 4, 1886, when the Chicago protesters organized a demonstration and demanded the shortening of a working day to 8 hours. The peaceful event turned into violence and killing of an officer and a lot of involved people. The radicalization of the movement caused a crackdown on the labor activists and even hanging of four protesters. This tragic history of May 1 was the reason why President Grover Cleveland chose Labor Day holiday, not International Workers; Day, as an official holiday.
Significance of Labor Day
The key message of the May Day was to get better salaries and working conditions, while the celebration of Labor Day promoted the dignity of work. The first Monday in September is not just a day off. It is a major celebration and a great parade in large and small cities of the US. The American labor movement is still alive as the workers have been facing numerous problems and challenges. Every white-collar professional in the US understands why the significance of Labor Day holiday cannot go down yet.