What is Labor Day and why do we celebrate it?

For most Americans, the long weekend is a much-needed opportunity to reunite with friends and family, offering a final hurrah before fall begins.

Labor Day was celebrated informally by labor activists and individual states in the late 1800s. According to the U.S. Department of Labor. New York was the first state to introduce legislation to recognize Labor Day, but Oregon was the first state to actually codify it into law in 1887. Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York followed by the end of 1887.
Joshua Freeman A labor historian and professor emeritus at the City University of New York told CNN that the holiday evolved after the depression of the 1870s as labor unions began to strengthen again.

According to Freeman, New York City has converged on two events that helped shape Labor Day. First, the now-defunct Central Trade Union was formed as an ‘umbrella body’ for unions across trades and ethnic groups. In addition, the Knights of Labor, the largest national labor convention at the time, held a convention in the city, with a large parade. However, the parade took place on a Tuesday in early September and many workers were unable to attend.

The convention was so successful that unions across the country began holding their own labor celebrations in early September, usually the first Monday of the month.

Initially, “it was a bit of a daring move to join because it could get you fired,” Friedman said. However, over time, states began to recognize holidays, and it became more common for employers to give their employees days off.

Until June 28, 1894, Congress passed a bill making September 1 a legal holiday called Labor Day.

Freeman says President Grover Cleveland sent troops to put it down earlier that year. Pullman rail strike. Cleveland pushed legislation to recognize Labor Day in a “gesture to organized labor” days after the strike ended, Freeman said.

what is labor day

When Labor Day was enacted, Freeman said unions were fighting for “very specific improvements in working conditions.” I was fighting hard for my hours. Labor Day was an opportunity for workers to come together and discuss their priorities. It also provided an opportunity for the state to recognize the contributions that workers have made to society.

But there was also a more radical political element to the Labor Day celebration, says Freeman. The Labor Knights were exploring the idea that “what we call the capitalist or industrial system is fundamentally exploitative”. of inequality and inequality, so they demanded a greater say from those who work in society.”

“When Labor Day began, there were many voices that fundamentally challenged this new system,” Freeman added. He advocated an alternative to the “capitalist wage system”.

On Tuesday, August 8, travelers line up at a security checkpoint south of Denver International Airport as the Labor Day holiday approaches.  March 30, 2022.

Evolution of Labor Day

Over time, the radical politics surrounding Labor Day have softened. All over the world, most countries honor their workers. a holiday called May Day, celebrated on May 1st, also originated in the late 19th century, with battles over the eight-hour work day. For a long time, Freeman said, Americans celebrated both May Day and Labor Day.

Ultimately, however, Labor Day came to be seen as the more “gentle” of the two holidays, compared to May Day, which was first established by the Marxist International Socialist Congress.

“By the turn of the 20th century, calls to change American lives had all but disappeared from Labor Day,” Freeman said. As we gave workers more days off, we became less and less associated with the unions.”

After World War II, there was a brief resurgence of Labor Day celebrations, especially in cities such as Detroit and New York City. But by the ’60s and his ’70s, they tapered off again.

“I think most people think summer vacation is over,” Freeman said. “It doesn’t have much to do with its origin.”

Can I wear white after Labor Day?

You may have heard the outdated rule of not wearing white after Labor Day.

But don’t worry. There’s no fashion police waiting to see if you wear a white shirt in September.

This rule was one of many 19th century style conventions used to distinguish between the upper and middle classes. Valerie Steelefashion historian and director of the Museum of the Fashion Institute of Technology.

“As more and more ordinary people, whether middle class or sub-middle class, have enough money to try to dress A lot of upper class people can say ‘yes, but you’re doing it wrong,'” Steele told CNN.

White was bound to summer vacation — a privilege that few allow. say.

But arbitrary rules largely disappeared in the 1970s, says Steele. The 1960s “Youthquake” allowed young people to challenge old stylistic norms, including Labor Day rules.

“It was part of a broader anti-fashion movement,” Steele said.

Source: www.cnn.com

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