We think of Labor Day weekend in the U.S as one last opportunity to take a summer road trip with family, or do shopping! But have you wondered what Labor Day is really about?
To understand more, we have to go back to life in 19th century America and Europe. With the industrial revolution, inventors, factory owners and enterprising businessmen were getting extremely wealthy. However, there was one class that was being largely ignored. The working class.
They worked long hours in factories, often under unsafe conditions and earned a meager wage. Children as young as five had to work to support their families. They lived in shanty buildings with no running water or electricity, and diseases spread quickly in crowded, unsanitary neighborhoods.
To demand fair working and living conditions, the working class organized themselves into groups called labor unions. The first parade was held in New York City in September 1882, organized by two men from rival unions.
Even though the Hay Market Massacre in on May 3, 1886 (read HERE) led to May 1st being celebrated as Labor Day around the world, the U.S adopted the first Monday of September as Labor Day in the U.S. For more on the history of this day, check out the video below.