We all know Labor Day as the farewell party for Summer and the first holiday for the back to school kids. How did Labor Day start and what is the meaning of the holiday? Courtesy of History.com, we can help with some of those answers!
Dating all the way back to the 1800's, particularly during the Industrial Revolution, people of all ages (as young as 5) have worked long hours, every day and in harsh conditions. The workers consisted of the very poor and immigrants trying to make enough money for food to feed their families. Unions began forming as more manufacturing companies came about forming more jobs with no benefits became more frustrating to the employees. Many violent riots were held killing many people and officers, the most famous being Haymarket Riot in 1886. To rise up and avoid another major riot, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off in New York to march from City Hall to Union Square and this was known as the first Labor Day in US history.
It took 12 years for Labor Day to be recognized and legalized by Congress. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed the holiday into law. Labor Day has a dark history prior to its recognition and thanks to all the union workers putting their actions to work, we have gained better wages, benefits and working hours in business places everywhere.