Why We Celebrate Labor Day

If you’re one of the lucky ones, you just enjoyed a 3-day weekend: shopping for that first day of school outfit with your soon-to-be 4th grader, enjoying one last pontoon ride around the lake, or maybe grilling one last hot dog before putting the grill away for the year. If you’re like me, you enjoyed the long weekend without having any real idea why we celebrate each year.  Let’s take a glimpse at how Labor Day started and why we still honor the tradition today.

The History of Labor Day

In the late 1800’s, with the Industrial Revolution in full swing, Americans of all ages were working 12-hour days, seven days a week, in unsafe working conditions just to make ends meet.

As manufacturing jobs began outpacing agricultural jobs, the labor unions began organizing more strikes and rallies to fight for better wages and safer working conditions.  It was during this time, in 1882, that the very first Labor Day celebration took place in New York City – a parade of 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to Union Square.

However, in 1894, President Grover Cleveland declared the first Monday in September a national holiday. This declaration was a conciliatory reaction to the Pullman Strikes of 1894, which lead to the death of more than a dozen railroad workers.

In honor of the 125th anniversary of Labor Day, we’d like to pay tribute to our PMG employees and technicians – your incredible energy, drive, determination, and work ethic are the backbone of what makes our company great. Keep it up! This national holiday honors you, the greatest workers in the world.

About the Author

Beth Bangtson, Human Resources Manager