Why We Have Labor Day in the United States

While I know most people won’t be thinking about it, the United States got the idea for Labor Day from the Canadians.  They had the first one in 1872, and labor union workers in New York City followed suit a few years afterwards, but the holiday was not official. It became a national holiday in 1882 , 6 days after troops clashed with Pullman  strikers in Chicago leaving  some people dead.  President Grover Cleveland, who had called out the troops to put down the strike, decided reconciliation with labor was his top priority and pushed Congress to make Labor Day a national holiday.  The vote was unanimous. You can read all about it by going to Wikipedia.

So as you have fun with family and friends, you can reflect on why you are on holiday.  When was the last time you heard anyone comment on the fact that Congress made Labor Day official because of  the bloody Pullman  strike in Chicago?

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