Some Labor Day history and a few Workin' Anthems!
By Adrian Cavlan
We hope you enjoy a heck of a nice holiday coming your way this weekend. Make sure you grill up some great food, take a day trip or two, and for goodness’ sake, put away your white shoes LOL!
So what the heck is this “Labor Day” anyway, and why do we celebrate it? Well, it originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters.
In the late 1800s, during the height of the Industrial Revolution, Americans routinely worked 12 hour days, seven days a week, with insufficient breaks and access to restroom facilities. Even children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages while being exposed to extremely dangerous working environments.
It was during this time, as the country shifted from an agrarian to a manufacturing economy, that labor unions first reared their heads, and it was thanks to them that change was slowly, and often forcefully, affected.
The watershed moment upon which our current holiday is based occurred on September 5, 1882, when 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, thus holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.
In 1894, the holiday was given federal recognition by President Grover Cleveland Alexander.
So, there you have it! As with many of our holidays, we hope you will enjoy it heartily, but also recognize the sacrifice it took from so many who had to live hard lives to give rise to this day which we get to enjoy.
Now, on to the music!
Here are a few songs about work that you might enjoy, or maybe even get a little fired up by!