Friday, September 02, 2011
Eleven-year-old Peter McGuire lived in New York City in 1862. He held down several jobs to help his immigrant parents feed his six siblings. People worked long hours and showed up for work whether they were tired or sick because they feared the thousand others looking for jobs would take their place.
Ten years later Peter rounded up 100,000 workers in New York City to strike and march against the long hours they were forced to work in poor conditions. No breaks and barely time to eat a mid-day meal. He continued to fight against the long working hours organizing labor unions by occupations and traveling around the U.S. speaking out against the ghastly hours workers were expected to put in on a job.
September 5, 1882 the first Labor Day Parade marched down Broadway street in New York City. 20,000 workers carried banners that said: LABOR CREATES ALL WEALTH; EIGHT HOURS FOR WORK, EIGHT HOURS FOR REST, EIGHT HOURS FOR RECREATION. After hte parade picnics were held all over the city.
In 1894 Congress voted the first Monday of September a federal holiday.
Have a Safe and Fun weekend!