As I woke up on Labor Day I wondered if people really knew why we celebrate this federal holiday.
[ctt template=”5″ link=”2frKa” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]The Labor Day holiday is “a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” ~ U.S. Department of Labor [/ctt]
The Pullman Strike of 1894 preceded the United States Congress unanimous approval to make Labor Day a national holiday
The Pullman Strike was a Chicago based railroad strike. It disrupted railroad traffic from June to July of 1892. The Pullman workers went on strike in response to their treatment by the Pullman company. In response to the depression, Pullam cut wages. However, they did not reduce the rent that they were charging to workers and their families in the company town. When a peaceful group of workers went to Pullan to complain about the wages, 16-hour workdays and subpar living conditions he ordered them fired. Finally, a strike was born.
The strike would not come to an end until the United States Army and Marshals Service stepped in. President Cleveland gave the order. It did not go as planned. The federal troops and the strikers clashed violently. Communities became enraged and riots broke out. Time describes it as “one of the bloodiest strikes in U.S. history.”
President Cleveland’s popularity suffered. He would never be President again.
So here we are on the first Monday of September having read through a history lesson. I hope that you have learned something, I know I did.
Most people see the Labor Day holiday as an end of summer celebration.
However, I feel that it is important to finally understand that it is much more than that.