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Labor Day is celebrated each year on the first Monday in September. Dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker, Labor Day was a creation of the American labor movement. The first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882 in New York. It had been organized by the Central Labor Union. By 1884, the first Monday in September had been chosen as the official day of celebration and the Central Labor Union pushed other similar labor organizations across the country to recognize this workers’ holiday. In 1894, railroad workers organized a nationwide strike against the Pullman Company and the federal government shutting down railroad traffic in the western United States. The Pullman strike began when workers organized a wildcat strike in response to a reduction in wages. Most of Pullman’s striking workers lived in a community owned by Pullman and paid Pullman rent. Pullman didn’t reduce rent when it lowered the workers’ wages prompting the workers to strike. Calling the strike a threat to the national welfare and national security, the U.S. Government sent U.S. Marshals and U.S. Army troops to cities to shut down the strikes. This led to violence and the deaths of 30 workers, injuries to countless others and massive damage to property. While most of the public and most politicians were against the strike, President Grover Cleveland recognized Labor Day as an official federal holiday in 1894 after the Pullman strike in an effort to reconcile with organized labor. Labor Day has been celebrated as a national holiday ever since.
Have a Happy Labor Day and above all celebrate safely!