The Origins of Labor Day


The first Monday in September is Labor Day across the United States. We now know it as the unofficial last day of summer, with cookouts, sporting events, and festivals galore spanning it and the weekend before.

As with many other holidays in America, it has become synonymous with gluttony, but like those other days, that isn’t how it started. The origins of the now three-day feast is probably a mystery to a good segment of the citizenry.

Early Origins

The first Labor Day was observed on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. The second took place exactly one year later.

Just a decade later, the practice had been adopted by an additional 23 states. It was officially declared a federal holiday by President Grover Cleveland on June 28, 1894.

The Who Behind the Day

While it’s unclear which individual actually sparked the idea of Labor Day, there is no doubt that the initial plan of action was developed by the Central Labor Union of New York, Brooklyn, and New Jersey (CLU). What is also undoubted is the fact that the CLU was steeped in an incredibly Marxist/Socialist brew.

Matthew Maguire is one of two men believed to have started the push for Labor Day in the late 1800s. This is evidenced by the fact that Mr. Maguire was the 1896 Vice Presidential nominee for the Socialist Labor Party as well as the Governor of New Jersey in 1898.

It’s clear what his political leanings were and what kind of role they played. The CLU was a forerunner of the AFL-CIO and they, along with essentially all other labor unions, are firmly entrenched in Socialist/Communist doctrine.

This isn’t to say unions weren’t needed. Brutally long work weeks, minuscule wages, company stores, and child labor were all blights that required eradication. Unfortunately, these organizations were founded by men rooted in the dogma espoused by Karl Marx. His teachings as these people viewed them has led to some of the most brutal regimes the world has ever known; this includes the Soviet Union and North Korea.

Wrapping it Up

Heading out to enjoy a few well-earned brews and brats or lining the streets for the town parade by no means makes a person un-American. But what does make a well-informed citizen is understanding what the people behind holidays like this meant to stand for before being warped by commercialism.

Happy Labor Day, everyone.

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