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Mr. Kyle’s Class Project on Labor Day

For many Americans, Labor Day marks the end of the summer, a day off from work and school, and one last chance to relax. But Labor Day is much more than just a day off. It represents a very important victory for laborers everywhere. The holiday is a celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers.

Fighting for Change

More than a century ago, workers were forced to deal with harsh conditions. They were paid very little, and they often worked 10- to 12-hour days. Men, women and even small children were forced to work even when they were sick.

Tired of long hours and dangerous conditions, workers began organizing themselves into labor unions. On top of fighting for higher pay and shorter workdays, they also fought for the rights of children. The workers wanted employers to place limits on the age of their workers so that small children were not overworked or hurt in factories.

Peter McGuire is often called the

Peter McGuire is often called the “father” of Labor Day. He came up with the idea for the holiday in 1882.

 A Holiday for Workers

A New York City carpenter named Peter McGuire is credited for coming up the idea for Labor Day. In 1872, after working many long hours under poor conditions, McGuire rallied 100,000 workers to go on strike. The workers marched through the streets of New York City, demanding a better work environment.

McGuire spent a decade fighting for worker’s rights. In 1882, he proposed the idea to create a special holiday for workers. On Tuesday, September 5, 1882, more than 10,000 workers hit the streets of New York City for the first ever Labor Day parade. Two years later the celebration was moved to the first Monday in September. And in 1894, Congress passed a law making Labor Day a national holiday.

A Relaxing Celebration

Americans celebrated the first Labor Day holiday with a parade, picnics and fireworks. Today, many people hit the road to enjoy the last of their summer vacation. Others enjoy the long weekend with picnics, backyard barbecues or just rest and relaxation.

However you spend Labor Day, remember that the holiday is a time to pay tribute to the workers who have made America what it is today.


Directions: Use the comment section below to respond to these questions.

  1. What were some of the reasons people went on strike?

2. Talk about what you think work would look like if people could not strike.

Article from Time for Kids http://www.timeforkids.com/news/history-labor-day/12426

11 Comments leave one →
  1. September 9, 2015 2:41 pm

    kameron…cadence
    they wanted kids to be chreted fair.they would not have much food or money.

  2. September 9, 2015 2:41 pm

    Caden & Dawsyn
    They worked 12 hours a day. In 1872, after working many long hours under poor conditions, McGuire rallied 100,000 workers to go on strike.
    Everybody would be hot, sweaty, and tired. With no breaks till 12:00.

  3. September 9, 2015 2:42 pm

    Adam & Chase:Thay wernt payed enough money. thay work to long. Thay would die becase
    there jobs are dangeres and dirt and gas can get in thair lungs.

  4. T.J. permalink
    September 9, 2015 2:42 pm

    1
    T.J.Trent
    Because they work all day.

    2
    T.J.Trent
    Lonely people working all day every day and nobody would be able to see there family’s.

  5. September 9, 2015 2:44 pm

    Kaylin Wyatt

    1. They wanted a brake from work. They wanted to go on strike. They wanted a brake from 10 to 12 hour work.
    2. We would not want to work. Then I will go on stike then. Even though I will go to jail. It will be awesome to go on strike if we couldn’t. They would think we are super brave.

    Mr.Kyle, this lesson is awesome! You are a good teacher.

  6. T.J. permalink
    September 9, 2015 2:47 pm

    1
    T.J.Trent
    because there shifts are long

    2
    T.J.Trent
    a world were nobody got to see there family’s.

  7. Anonymous permalink
    September 9, 2015 2:47 pm

    Sydnee .M. & Kyohnea .w.

    Question 1. They were tired of long hours and dangerous conditions and , men, women and even small children were forced to work even when they were sick.

    Question 2. What I think work would do to people could not go on strike is some would get really sick and maybe even die because no one could go on strike and , the reason is the boss of the company was mean.

  8. September 9, 2015 2:48 pm

    Miranda Wennhold & Sivina Samuel

    1. They were paid very little, and they often worked 10- to 12-hour days.

    2. If people could not strike the people would get really mad because they were paid very little and often worked 10-to-12 hours a day.

  9. September 9, 2015 2:48 pm

    Jaden & Koda
    1.workers were forced to deal with harsh conditions.They were paid very littleand they often worked 10- to 12-hour days.
    2.There jobs are dangeres and they can get hurt

  10. makenzi,julia permalink
    September 9, 2015 2:48 pm

    they had to worked10-12 hours and when they worked they did not get enough money so they went all over the world for money for more money.they would not have enough money to live.

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