At the end of the 19th century, America evolved from an agrarian society into an industrial powerhouse. The economy grew rapidly; so did inequality. Workers had few rights.
In New York, the Central Labor Union advocated for workers. To celebrate laborers’ honest toil, they planned a parade and picnic for Tuesday, September 5, 1882. Turnout was uncertain; most workers would have to sacrifice a day’s pay.
Just a few dozen men were gathered at the start. Then 200 jewelers arrived with a band, followed by bricklayers and their band. Gradually, more workers entered from side streets. By the end, over 5,000 men marched in the parade.
Later, nearly 25,000 people picnicked at the park. They ate, drank beer, danced and watched fireworks. The day was a huge success!
The CLU organized a second event the following year. In 1884, they designated the first Monday in September as Labor Day and urged other cities to follow its example. The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday” spread from place to place until finally in 1894, Labor Day became a federal holiday.
On Labor Day, we honor the American worker who has contributed so much to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. At Hillside Auto Repair, we’re grateful to earn a living doing what we LOVE — taking care of you and keeping your car running in tip-top shape.