By Jordan Blystone
America is the land of opportunity, but with opportunity comes responsibility, new experiences and hard labor. Labor is a part of all of our lives, from fast food to foundry workers. This is why U.S. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill in 1894 declaring Labor Day a national holiday which workers are praised and given the day off. Workers are what holds up America’s economy and allows our currency to retain its value. Labor Day also brings in sales, political campaigns, and celebrations to bring America together.
Who came up with Labor Day?
There are many people associated with the original idea of Labor Day but the general credit would go to the founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters©, Peter J. McGuire. Although, before Labor Day came to be, a communist alternative was already celebrating it’s working class citizens with “May Day.” U.S. President Grover suggested a holiday without communist roots and soon Canada followed since there was a “Red Scare” at the time.
Why is Labor Day important?
Labor Day is the only day in the year when workers are celebrated. There were many fights for good work conditions and for equal working rights that must not be forgotten. Many people see Labor Day as just another day off, but in an interview with Mr. Perry he was asked if he thought Labor Day was just another day off, he said this. “My great grandfather participated in the Little Steel Strike in 1937 in Youngstown.” He said. “This has always painted my thought about worker’s rights and the necessity to fight for those rights.” Mr. Perry also added this on the importance of Labor Day, “Labor Day is always a day of remembrance for plight of those who fought and died for these rights that we enjoy today.” There are many that remember the efforts workers have made to make the workplace a safe and equal environment. It is important to remember why we have the rights we do because some day they could be gone.