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Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday that is celebrated on the first Monday of September. It pays tribute to the contributions and accomplishments of American workers.
Labor Day celebration originated during the height of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s. The average American worked 12 hour days, seven days a work just to make a meager wage. Children as young as five or six years old worked in factories and mines throughout the U.S. earning a fraction of what adults earned. Many workers faced unsafe and unhealthy work environments.
Workers organized strikes and rallies to protest the poor work conditions and sometimes these gatherings turned violent. In particular, the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886 that left several Chicago police officers and workers dead. On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers left work to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, which became noted as the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.
The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. It wasn’t until 12 years later that Congress would legalize the holiday in 1894.
On Saturday, September 12th, New York City will hold its annual Labor Day Parade in honor of all the workers that help build this great city many of us call home. The parade will begin at 10:00am on Fifth Avenue and 44th Street and commence on 67th Street.
The Perecman Firm salutes you!