Have you wondered what the history of Labor Day has to do with BBQ? Is it just a long weekend with great food and friends?
Here are the top three things you should know about Labor Day.
1. Workers stood up for their rights
In the early 1890’s there was a bad recession which pushed workers to strike. On average Americans already worked 12-hours a day and seven-days a week for basic living. Children started working at age 5 or 6. The labor movement which began a few years earlier was in the early stages. The reduced demand for railway cars lead to a huge layoff and reduced wages. Workers had so few opportunities to feed their families, and they were enraged. Pullman workers went on strike in 1894. That strike lead to mobs overturning rail cars, and lighting fires in Chicago. Government troops showed up and pushed back.
Later that year, the day off was passed by Congress. DOL has even more detail on the legislation.
2. You can appreciate how far we have come in 110+ years
Labor Day isn’t just a day off work, it is a day that honors hard working citizens. We can celebrate the typical 8 hour workday, the Labor Day holiday and child labor laws. In 1916, the Adamson Act established the 8 hour day. In 1938 it became illegal to hire children under 14 with the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Let’s reflect on how far we have come!
3. Let’s celebrate the history of Labor Day
Now what do we do?
No need to sit and read a history book or wallow in the sorrows of the past. Our generation has it’s own issues. However, it cannot be wrong to be grateful for all we have. Have a barbecue, see an outdoor movie or take a last minute getaway. The best way to celebrate is to really enjoy it.
The way you have been celebrating is exactly right!
Get some patriotic Labor Day recipes>>>