(Labor Day, New York, 1882)
We all know Labor
Day means a three day weekend, but are you aware of the historical
significance or what your backyard BBQ is in celebration of. My guess is
probably not. Our theory here is, “knowledge is power” so we thought you might
want the answer to this question, too!
Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday in
September to commemorate the contributions of our nation’s workers. This day
was first celebrated in 1894 to placate unionists after the Pullman Strike, and is
most commonly celebrated with family barbeques, often a parade of some sort,
and more recently, retail sales.
The Labor Day holiday was first proposed in 1882, with
debate as to whether it was by Matthew Maguire who worked for the CLU (Central
Labor Union) or Peter J. McGuire with the American Federation of Labor. Oregon
was the first state to celebrate the holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time
Labor Day became a national holiday, it was already celebrated in 30 states.
deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman
Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to
approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover
Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The
September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of
the nation’s trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than
the more widespread International Workers’ Day because Cleveland
was concerned that observance of the latter would be associated with the
nascent Communist, Syndicalist and Anarchist movements that, though distinct
from one another, had rallied to commemorate the Haymarket
Affair in International Workers’ Day.”
Sweeney & Sweeney hopes you’re having an exciting and
safe celebration this weekend and we look forward to resuming business with you
all on Tuesday!