(WETM) – Kids are getting ready for school, football fans are gearing up for the start of the season, and people are using their last day to wear white and taking advantage of those labor day clothing sales. But let’s take a deeper dive into history and find out what labor day is actually about.
Labor Day, originally is a day to recognize workers and celebrate their contributions to America’s strength and prosperity.
At the height of the industrial revolution in the late 1800s, the average American worked 12 hours days, and seven days weeks in order to make ends meet. The working class was made up of all ages, some children even as young as five years old, working in unsafe conditions.
Labor activists became more prominent and began to organize strikes and rallies to protest the poor conditions, long hours, and little pay. The first Labor Day parade was in the state of New York on September 5th, 1882. 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, marking the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.
12 years later, Labor Day became a federal holiday. President Grover Cleveland signed it into law on June 28th, 1894.