Day of Rest from Hard Work: What is the History of Labor Day?
Labor Day recognizes the day-in-day-out dedication and hard work of people like machinists, carpenters, plumbers, and workers whom build America – Bill Powers
Labor Day may be what many consider the End of Summer, known for a time of cooking out, spending time with family, and sneaking in one last trip to the beach before school really gets moving.
Almost everyone enjoys an extra long weekend, with no work on Monday; but, many people do not know the History of Labor Day and why we as Americans celebrate the holiday.
The National Holiday is celebrated every year on the first Monday of September. The first “Labor Day” was marked by a parade in New York in the late 1800’s.
Two labor unions, the Knights of Labor and the Central Labor Union pressed for a special holiday recognizing the work of, well, workers.
Interestingly enough, our North American neighbors in Canada also celebrate Labour Day on the first Monday of September.
Machinist to Candidate for the Vice Presidency – Matthew Maguire
The New Jersey Historical Society reports Matthew Maguire was “very probably the man behind the creation of Labor Day.”
But there is some dispute as to whom actually suggested the holiday.
Matthew Maguire was a Machinist whom was active with the Central Labor Union CLU.
Peter J. McGuire was a carpenter from New York and one of the people whom founded the American Federal of Labor AFL (later to become the AFL-CIO Congress of Industrial Organizations). Some say McGuire attended a Labor Rally and Parade in Canada, and having seen that country’s Labor Celebration suggested the United States follow suit
Interestingly enough, Macguire’s position as Secretary of the Central Labor Union eventually resulted in his being a candidate for the Vice President of the United States.
Labor Unions in the Late 1800’s
The history of labor unions in the United States is interesting, involving issues of immigration, workplace conditions, and terms of employment.
Unions in the late 19th Century focused on:
- Limiting the Work Day to Eight Hours
- Health and Safety Conditions
- Payment in Currency Secured in Gold or Bullion
- Opposition of Payment by “Greenbacks”
- Post Civil War Currency
- Issued by the North
- Not Secured by Gold or Bullion
- Subject to Inflation and Market Manipulation
- At the time, Greenbacks were a derogatory term
- The United States created $400,000,000 in money to finance the Civil War
- Equal Pay for Equal Work
Hermine Makes Landfall – North Carolina Governor McCrory Issues State of Emergency – Be Careful This Labor Day Weekend
While less people may be on the roads today the weather conditions could make driving difficult – Bill Powers
Why You Should Be Careful This Labor Day Weekend
Not to be a Debbie Downer, but one of the things we like to do at Powers Landreth is make people aware of the laws and public polices in North Carolina involving Traffic, Criminal and Impaired Driving Issues.
As a friendly reminder, please remember this Labor Day Weekend there may be both a LOT of motorists on the roadways AND potentially bad weather conditions.
Governor McCrory has apparently already issued a “State of Emergency” for thirty-three Eastern North Carolina Counties.
And while the weather may clear as early as this Saturday, some roadways may still have standing water and debris from Hurricane Hermine.
NHTSA: Traffic Fatalities Up Sharply in 2015
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration NHTSA there were more than 2,300 more Traffic Fatalities in 2015 than the previous year. The number of reported Traffic Related Fatalities rose to 35,092.
For MORE INFORMATION see: US DOT Traffic Safety Metrics 2015
- 2015 Fatalities: 35,092
- 2014 Fatalities: 32,744
- 7.2 % INCREASE
- Largest Percentage Increase in FIFTY YEARS
Alcohol Impaired Driving Fatalities 2015
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis:
- Alcohol Impaired Driving Fatalities Increased by 3.2% in 2015
- 2015 Alcohol Impaired Driving Fatalities: 10,265
- 2014 Alcohol Impaired Driving Fatalities: 9,943
- VMT Vehicle Mile Traveled Increase Largest in over Two Decades
Parent Student Driving Contract
Bill Powers regularly lectures on the Laws and Policies behind Impaired Driving in North Carolina.
If you would like Mr. Powers to speak at your school or other educational event, please feel free to call: 704-342-4357
If there is anything I can do to help save a life, including just making kids aware of the dangers, I’m here to help – Bill Powers