Harshi,      Dec 8 2017 7:54AM

Why Do We Have Labor Day?

I never really thought about Labor Day as a “real” holiday.  It’s the unofficial end of summer…the date you can no longer wear white…the best day of the year for a BBQ…and no work…but not a “real” holiday.

So I went in search of why we have this holiday.

Labor Day originated during a horrendous time in American labor history.  In the late 1800, the Industrial Revolution was in full swing.  Most Americans were working 12 hour days, 7 days a week just to make ends meet.  Very young children were working hard labor type jobs and working conditions for many people of all ages were unsafe.

Labor unions started to grow more popular.  They began organizing strikes and rallies to force employers to make changes in pay and conditions.  On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off and marched from City Hall to Union Square marking the first ever Labor Day parade.

The idea of a day to celebrate workers began to spread across the country and in 1896 President Grover Cleveland made the 1st Monday in September a national holiday.  There is more to the story…but you get the basic idea.

This year, while I sit in my lawn chair…eating a burger…I am going to enjoy my first Labor Day knowing WHY I am not in the office.

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