The History of Labor Day Celebration

Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. The holiday is entitled to honor the achievements and contributions of the American workers. Initially, it appeared as a result of the labor movement at the end of the 19th century and became celebrated on the national level since 1894. So, what was so special about the American workers that it was decided to pay tribute to them? Actually, in the late 19th century, when the Industrial Revolution was at its peak, the working day of an average American worker lasted up to 12 hours! People had to work really hard every day of the week in order to ensure the basic means of living for their family. What is important as well, even children aged 5-6 years were also working at some factories. The working conditions were really horrible and unsafe: workers did not get enough fresh air, the sanitary conditions were poor, and sometimes they had to work without breaks or with a minimal rest. To fight this injustice, workers began organizing labor unions. Actually, they proved their usefulness as people began voicing their opinions and attracting attention of the governmental bodies towards the extremely poor conditions they had to work in. These labor unions started organizing strikes as they aimed at decreasing the number of working hours and improving working conditions. The biggest strike took place on the 5th of September 1882, when workers marched throughout the streets of New York. This strike is regarded as the first Labor Day parade in the American history. As many as 10,000 workers participated in the parade. The idea of celebrating this day soon spread to the rest of the country, and many states passed the legislation that recognized the holiday. From then on, the holiday is celebrated in all towns and cities across the USA. People organize parades, barbecues, picnics, fireworks, and other local gatherings. Partly, the holiday is a symbol for the end of summer and the start of school season for children. All in all, Labor Day is not just about celebration – it is also a chance for people to discuss the betterment of their working conditions, salary increase, etc. However, unfortunately, many people consider this day as a weekend but not the time when one should honor the American workers. Many people use this day-off to enjoy discounts and sales in shops. Therefore, I consider that it is important to know the historical background of this holiday.