For most of us Labor Day just means one of the few three day weekends we get to enjoy throughout the year. The extra paid day off is always nice along with the extra time for a weekend getaway or relaxation.
But there is so much history and meaning behind this holiday and the historical labor movement here in the U.S. It would have never come to fruition if it wasn’t for the men and women who worked long hard hours with minimal benefits and worker’s rights, and those who worked to change labor rights.
During the Industrial Revolution workers had minimal rights often working in dangerous conditions for long hours. The working class, recent immigrants, and even children, were taken advantage of with low pay to work in these conditions. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that workers unions began to show up, as well as many demonstrations and protests that sparked the beginnings of the Labor Movement and the official first Labor Day holiday in 1894. Labor Day officially became the first Monday of September in 1968 with The Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
This holiday is meant to honor the American Labor Movement which worked to achieve worker’s rights, better working conditions, end child labor, and create benefits for workers. In fact the majority of the benefits and rights we receive today is due to that movement. For that, let’s celebrate the workers and labor activists that came before us!