Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day!

In America, we have so many holidays that have lost their meaning over the hundreds of years they have been around.  For instance, Labor Day.  What does it mean and why was it created?  I thought I would do a little research to find out the origin so I could share it with my readers, then we will all know.  So the next time you are at a cocktail party, you can awe everyone with your knowledge of what Labor Day really means.

The holiday was proposed and ratified six days after the Pullman Strike of 1894.  The Pullman Company was a company that manufactured train cars and had vast amounts of real estate.  Many of the workers worked at The Pullman Company and also lived in the housing developments owned by the same company.  The Pullman Strike originated in Chicago when the Pullman company cut wages of their workers but failed to decrease their rent amounts. 

The Pullman Strike shut down rail service across the country and finally President Grover Cleveland intervened.  He directed U. S. troops and federal marshals to get involved which resulted in the death of 30 strikers and wounded 57 others.  Property damage was estimated to exceed $80 million which, at the time, was a large sum of money.  Heck, it's a large sum of money today.

Because of The Pullman Strike, Congress proposed and ratified a holiday called Labor Day.  The holiday was created to recognize and celebrate the contributions of the American worker.  Most companies shut down on Labor Day and picnics and parades are abundant. 

Oh, and it's also the last day you are "supposed" to wear white without committing a fashion faux paux.  

And, for those of you who confuse Memorial Day and Labor Day, this is how I remember it.  Memorial Day happens in May.  Both Memorial and May start with an M.  Labor Day happens in the 9th month, just as labor happens in the ninth month when you are expecting a baby.  Your welcome :)

Happy Labor Day!  Do what you enjoy.

R. K. Avery