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Labor Day     TimeLine
Labor Day is observed on the First Monday of September.

~   Sept. 06, 2010   ~   Sept. 04, 2011   ~   Sept. 02, 2012   ~   Sept. 01, 2013   ~

The TimeLine    -    Labor Day around the World    -    Labor Day Trivia    -    Labor Day Links
America's early labor force provided the revolutionary soldiers who fought for freedom from tyranny. The Labor force that provided the field work to produce food and the basis of assembly for industry were necessary for America's success. Today's American worker is the foundation of our economy, together with the investor maintains America's economic strength. It is only appropriate that the United States of America pay tribute to those who work adding to the nation's liberty, position, and power; to honor the American worker on Labor Day.
Lured from farms for the security of a year-round income, millions migrated to the cities in the 1800s to work in the mines and factories of America's industries. They toiled 12 and 14 hours a day in poor and dangerous conditions. Labor unions sprang up to negotiate for better conditions, safety, and wages; to better the lifestyle of the American worker.
The TimeLine of Labor Day
~ ~ x As with most holiday's the first observances are clouded with uncertainty. The concepts for the holiday may have been conceived independently by two individuals, who worked within the same city with the possibility that the paths of both had crossed in the development of Labor Day.
1870 ~ x Matthew Maguire organized his first labor union rally in 1870.
1872 April x The Toronto Trades Assembly in Canada organized the first "workingman's demonstration" in North America. 10,000 Toronto citizens attended to watch parades and hear speeches against anti-union laws.
1872 Spring x Peter J. McGuire would join 10,000 New York workers marching to demand better working conditions. That would inspire his involvement in union organization.
1882 May x Matthew Maguire was very active, organizing his first union rally in 1970. He was secretary of Central Labor Union, New York and later secretary of Local 344, International Association of Machinists in Paterson, New Jersey. On May 18th at a formal meeting of the Central Labor Union in New York City Matthew Maguire had suggested a day to honor workers, "Let us have, a festive day during which a parade through the streets of the city would permit public tribute to American Industry, ..."
1882 July x On July 22 in Canada, the Toronto Trades and Labor Council had organized an annual demonstration and parade; inviting Peter J. McGuire of New York to speak at the occasion. Viewing the parade in Toronto and other festivities led Peter McGuire to suggest such celebrations in the United States.
1882 ~ x Peter J. McGuire was general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and had helped to co found the American Federation of Labor. Some say he was the first to suggest a "labor day," saying about American workers, "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
~ ~ x Though timing was close it seems that Matthew Maguire beat Peter McGuire by about two months to be the first to officially suggest celebrations to honor American workers.  Politics may have played a roll in the obscurity of Matthew Maguire's involvement in the origin of Labor Day.  His activism in social reform made him appear more radical and political than the union bosses preferred. Only conjecture, but it is possible that Peter McGuire being prominent in union circles was chosen by the union bosses to receive credit distancing the origin of Labor day from the more political activities of Matthew Maguire. Whether it be Matthew or Peter, certainly both of them played a roll in the creation of Labor Day.
1882 ~ x The Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal appointing a committee for the planning of a demonstration and picnic. Mathew Maguire was made the chairman of the committee.
1882 Sept. x In New York City, N.Y. a Labor Day celebration was held on a Tuesday, September 5, 1882 by the Central Labor Union. The Knights of Labor filled a reviewing stand as a union parade passed by.
1883 Sept. x The second observance of Labor Day is celebrated on September 5th, 1883 by the Central Labor Union in New York City.
1884 ~ x The first Monday in September was selected by New York's Central Labor Union to celebrate a "Workingmen's holiday" and began to urge other unions in other cities, to do the same.
1884 Aug.   Detroit, Illinois held its first Labor Day celebration on August 16, 1884. 50,000 Kights of Labor and the Trade and Labor Assembly made it a real observance.
1885 ~ x As labor organizations grew so did the concept of a Labor Day. Celebrations of Labor Day were held in many of America's industrial centers.
1886 ~ x The first governmental recognitions came with municipal ordinances that were passed in 1885 and 1886.
1887 Feb. x The first State bill for a Labor Day was introduced in New York. Oregon on February 21st was the first state to pass a law making Labor Day an official holiday.
1887 ~ x Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York also enacted laws, in 1887, creating a Labor Day holiday.
1888 ~ x From 1888 to 1890, Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had also enacted laws establishing Labor Day.
1889 ~ x Samuel Gompers, president of the American Federation of Labor has said of Labor Day, "the day for which the toilers in past centuries looked forward, when their rights and their wrongs would be discussed...that the workers of our day may not only lay down their tools of labor for a holiday, but upon which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it."
1891 ~ x From 1991 to 1994, 23 more states enacted laws to observe a Labor Day
1892 ~ x Workers in New York City took an unpaid day off to march in Union Square to support a Labor Day holiday.
1893 ~ x A labor strike broke out in the railroad industry beginning in Pullman, Illinois.  When mail trains were disrupted it brought the strikes to the status of a national issue. President Grover Cleveland sent 12,000 troops to break up the strike. in Kensington, near Chicago, violence broke out and when U.S. deputy marshals fire into striking protesters, two men are killed.
1894 ~ x President Grover Cleveland in attempts at appeasement with the American worker, pushed for the enactment of a Labor Day holiday. He still failed to gain re-election.
1894 June x The U.S. Congress passed the Labor Day act on June 28th establishing the first Monday in September a legal holiday in the U.S. Territories and the District of Columbia.
1940s Sep. x The Labor Day rallies in Detroit Illinois became the place for democratic candidates to announce their candidacy for president.
~ ~ x Labor Day has come to also signify the end of the summer vacation season, with Memorial Day signifying the beginning.
Highways are clogged, picnic grounds fill and a grid of backyards are filled with the scent of grilled food. All of it in honor of labor and a goodbye to summer.
© Copyright 2007 Roger W Hancock

Labor Day Around The World

   Many nations celebrate Labor Day on or near the traditional May 1st.

   The Socialist Party of communist nations celebrate the working class on May 1 (May Day) simultaneously celebrating communism. America intentionally avoided May 1, as to have no association with communism.

   Canada has celebrated labor day on the first Monday of September since the 1880s. The socialist factions of the Canadian government has suggested moving the holiday to May 1st complying with date most popular around the world. Tradition, perception of further alignment with international socialists, and convenience of business and tourism between Canada and the United States; keep Labor Day on the first Monday in September.

   German workers celebrated Labor Day in May going back to the 1800s. The Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler made Labor Day an official holiday in 1933 then banned all free unions a year later on May 2nd, 1934.

   Labor Day May 1st in Maharashtra is called Maharashtra Diwas.

   Poland renamed the holiday "State Holiday" in 1990 and celebrates on May 1st.

   Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway celebrate Labor Day as national holidays on May 1st with demonstrations by the worker's movement in each nation.

   One million people gather for a free concert in Rome that is organized by trade unions to celebrate the Italian national holiday on May 1st.

   Labor Day in Korea is a national Holyday for laborers.   Labor Day is not celebrated in the Netherlands.

   Labor Day in Australia is celebrated differently in the various states and territories. The Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales and South Australia celebrate on the first Monday in October.  Western Australia has set the holiday on the second Monday in March. Queensland and the Northern Territory both celebrate the holiday on the first Monday in May.

   New Zealand celebrates on the fourth Monday in October. Once celebrated on differing days in each province, ship owner complained of seamen taking extra holidays as they docked in different ports that were on their designated Labor Day. The holiday was "Mondayised" to the same day by the New Zealand government in 1910.

   China celebrates the holiday on May 1st combining it with the weekends before and after. The Labor Day holiday in China has become one of the country's Golden Weeks when millions of Chinese travel.

© Copyright 2007 Roger W Hancock

Labor Trivia

In 1950 nearly half of the American work force were unionized.
In 1995 less than 15 percent of the work force were members of a union.
In 2005 the union membership was 12.5 dropping in 2006 to 12 percent.
Union membership among government employees is five times that of the private sector (2006).
Union membership rate for men is higher than for women (2006).
Black workers have a greater unionization rate than White, Hispanic, or Asian workers (2006).

Labor Day Links        ~        ~        ~        ~        ~        ~        ~

Labor Day @ PoetPatriot on Holiday

Labor day Events         ~

Heart of America Marathon
Labor Day BlueGrass Festival - Florida
RAISIN: Labor Day Events by State

History         ~
US Labor History

History of Labor Day - U.S.  D.O.L.
Government - Labor         ~
United States Department of Labor
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
U.S. Business Advisor
National Labor Relations Board
Board Bureau of Labor Statistics
Federal Labor Relations Authority
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission
National Labor Relations
Indexes of State and Local Government Information

Union Organizations         ~         ~         ~         ~         ~         ~         ~         ~         ~

American Federation of State,
            County and Municipal Employees
American Postal Workers
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
International Association of Machinists
            and Aerospace Workers
International Brotherhood of Painters
            and Allied Trades
National Postal Mail Handlers Union
Service Employees International Union
Sheet Metal Workers International Association
United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters
United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural
            Implement Workers of America
 - International Union, (UAW)
United Food and Commercial Workers
United Mine Workers of America (UMWA)
United Steel Workers of America
United Transportation Union International
TimeLine Index  -  Holiday TimeLines - Labor Day Holiday Page

Sources: - - - - - - - - - - - -

© Copyright 2005 Roger W Hancock 


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