This year Labor Day is on Monday, September 7th. You might know Labor Day as a three day weekend, or for a barbecue party, but do you know the history behind Labor Day?
This holiday is a commemoration of American workers and is celebrated on the first Monday of September. During the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, average American workers were forced to work twelve hours a day, seven days a week. With the exception of a few states, children of ages five or six labored everyday. All of the people working were often subjected to highly unsafe working conditions. They weren’t given access to proper sanitation, breaks, and fresh air. As factories, agriculture and other businesses grew, people became more vocal about these issues in working areas. People organized strikes and rallies to protest poor working conditions, and to alter hours and pay. At times, these protests became violent, some causing several deaths. At this point, many people had stopped working, or were striking for better conditions, so Congress had to do something to get the workers back. Congress passed an act that made Labor Day a National Holiday, and on June 28th 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into a law.
Today, Labor Day is celebrated through picnics, parades, barbecues, fireworks and other gatherings. For many Americans it also represents the end of summer, and the start of school! Though we aren’t able to have physical gatherings this year, we can still celebrate Labor Day, and remember the struggles of Americans before us! On behalf of Weekend Maids, we wish you a Happy Labor Day!