Labor Day’s surprisingly dark history


On the first Monday of September, the United States celebrates Labor Day… but just what is Labor Day?

The first Labor Day Parade was held September 5th, 1882 in New York City to celebrate the strength of trade and labor organizations and to host a festival for worker’s families. But there are conflicting theories as to who created the holiday. Some say that it was Peter J McGuire of the American Federation of Labor, while others argue it was Matthew Maguire (Maguire not McGuire) that proposed the holiday while serving as the secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York.  

What is clear is the celebration became an unofficial, annual affair in New York City, held on the first Monday of September. After some urging from the Central Labor Union, by 1885 other states and cities were following suit.

But the history of Labor Day isn’t all parades and parties, strikes and riots also played a huge role. Like Chicago’s Haymarket Riot, which left eight people dead, and was a major setback for the organized labor movement in America. Then after the Pullman Strike in 1894, a nationwide railway strike, President Grover Cleveland extended an olive branch to unions and designated Labor Day as a federal holiday.

Rather than celebrate the holiday on International Workers Day, (May 1st) which had communist ties and was just days before the the anniversary of the Haymarket Riot, President Cleveland went with the date designated by McGuire… or Maguire.

Today the holiday is synonymous with the start of the school year, and store-wide sales and discounts. Ironically, because of those sales, employees at stores like Walmart are forced to not only work on Labor Day, but to work extended hours. Adding insult to injury, they’re not allowed to unionize.

3 thoughts on “Labor Day’s surprisingly dark history

  1. This is just after corporations became “legal entities” and were perpetual.
    Instead of asking to have their charter renewed every 20 years as I recall.
    We can all see the result today.

  2. “Rather than celebrate the holiday on International Workers Day, (May 1st) which had communist ties…”

    Satanic ties as well…

  3. If the stupid sheeple would stop going to stores on Labor Day, it would help, but people just can’t pass up a sale.

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