Pictures of Labor Day Celebrations Through the Years

Pauline Gross
September 4, 2017

On Labor Day, we honor the achievements of America's working people.

As summer draws to a close and schools prepare to open their doors again, Labor Day comes around like a sweet salve to workers in the United States.

Though it was originally celebrated by street parades and festivals for workers and their families, now officials address are more likely to address the nation through newspapers, televisions and the web, and families spend their weekend at cookouts, shopping or packing up their white clothes for the remainder of the year.

Millions of barbecues could be held across the U.S. today to celebrate the public holidayWhat is Labor Day?

The significance of Labour Day celebrations all over the world is to honour the movements and rulings brought about for the welfare and betterment of the community and the implementation of labour laws, most importantly the 8 hour day movement.

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This Labor Day, as we celebrate the contributions of working families, let's also pledge to do the hard work of transforming our economy so every single American can work for a better life.

On the first Labor Day in 1882, a crowd of 10,000 workers marched through NY after taking an unpaid day-off. I will refrain from labor on my day off. I have personally spent many holidays working double shifts - often 10 to 14 hours - cringing as well-meaning customers tell me, "Enjoy your holiday weekend!"

But while the first rally was held in New York, Oregon was the first state to institute Labor Day as a holiday, passing legislation to that effect in 1887.

There is some dispute over the foundation of the holiday, according to the Department of Labor.

The tensions culminated in the Pullman strike, during which workers for railcar manufacturers the Pullman Company in Chicago went on strike after their wages were cut by nearly 30 percent, but the rents and prices at company-owned accommodation and stores remained static. A strong majority of Americans have a positive view of unions. Many gave credit for the recognition to Peter McGuire, who made way for the creation of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), while others acknowledged Matthew McGuire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, as the initial proposer. In 1894 President Grover Cleveland signed it into the books as a federal holiday, after a violent effort to put down the Pullman railroad strike. Many shops and online retail outlets hold week-long "Labor Day" sales and the holiday has become one of the biggest sale days in the United States.

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