Labor Day—September 3, 2012
On Labor Day, families gather to mark the end of summer and the beginning of a new school year. Many families use the long Labor Day weekend to squeeze in the last picnic of summer. Backyard grills sizzle with barbequed chicken as we serve up the last fruits of the growing season. Yet, Labor Day is also a time to remind ourselves of the roots of the holiday.
In 1892, New York City workers took an unpaid day off and marched around Union Square in support of a national Labor Day. After that first Labor Day in New York City, celebrations began to spread to other states as workers fought to win workplace rights and better working conditions and wages at a time when they had little power.
However, in 1893 the United States was suffering through what is termed the Panic of 1893 – a serious economic depression caused by railroad overbuilding and shaky railroad financing which set off a series of bank failures. Continue reading “Labor Day—September 3, 2012”