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Labor Day

An old custom prohibits the wearing of white after Labor Day. The custom is rooted in nothing more than popular fashion etiquette. In actuality, the etiquette originally stated that white shoes were the taboo while white or "winter white" clothes were acceptable. This custom is fading from popularity as it continues to be questioned and challenged, particularly by leaders in the fashion world. "Fashion magazines are jumping on this growing trend, calling people who 'dare' to wear white after Labor Day innovative, creative, and bold. Slowly but surely, white is beginning to break free from its box, and is becoming acceptable to wear whenever one pleases. This etiquette is also compared to the Canadian fashion rule of not wearing green after Rememberance day."

Source: Labor Day - Wikipedia

Labor Day Articles:

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Labor Day History

Labor Day is usually celebrated during the month of September. The date of Labor Day 2006 falls on September 4, Monday. This Labor Day date, however, is not the only date with historical and social significance. The Labor Day celebration actually began on September 5, 1882 when 10,000 members of the Knights of Labor marched through New York’s streets, from City Hall to Union Square. They carried banners that read "LABOR CREATES ALL WEALTH," and "EIGHT HOURS FOR WORK, EIGHT HOURS FOR REST, EIGHT HOURS FOR RECREATION!" After this first Labor Day parade, the workers and their families gathered at the Reservoir Park for picnics, concerts and speeches. Workers and celebrants ate Irish stew, homemade bread and apple pie. At night, fireworks were set off.

First Labor Day Date was September 5

This idea of a day be dedicated to American workers and their accomplishments was attributed to Peter McGuire, but it was Matthew Maguire who organized the first Labor Day march. Peter J. McGuire was an active labor organizer. He was also general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, a precursor of the American Federation of Labor. Matthew Maguire, a machinist and later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., was a member of Knights of Labor District Assembly No. 49 (DA 49) and was in charge of the arrangements for the September 5, 1882 parade.

New York's Central Labor Union quickly approved of the proposal and began planning events for the second Tuesday in September. It was suggested that the Labor Day be celebrated on a September date in order to provide a break during the long stretch between Independence Day (July 4) and Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November). In 1884 the group held a parade on the first Monday of September and passed a resolution to hold all future parades on that day and to designate the day as Labor Day. The holiday was later officially moved to the first Monday of September in 1894, which is the national Labor Day date we continue to honor.

Incidentally, the first Labor Day date matches the same calendar date this September 2006. September 5 also falls on a Tuesday. However, the official Labor Day festivities will be held on the first Monday of the month, September 4.

Labor Day date became a holiday

It was on February 21, 1887 that Oregon became the first state to establish Labor Day as a holiday, which it put on the first Saturday in June. In March 1887, the first state law to declare the day a legal holiday was passed in Colorado, followed by New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. They observed Labor Day on the first Monday in September that year. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Then in 1889, the First (Paris) Congress of the Second Socialist International selected May First as the Labor Day date for the international celebration of the working man, no matter what day of the week it fell on. May First was chosen in commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre which occurred in Chicago in 1886.

Labor Day date became a federal holiday

The idea of honoring the workers of America did not come about serendipitously. The days before the momentous celebration of Labor Day as a national holiday on a Monday were filled with labor unrest. The chaos began in a town in Illinois where George Pullman, president of the railroad sleeping car company, designed and built a workers’ town to stand as a utopian community insulated from the moral (and political) influence of nearby Chicago.

Its residents all worked for Pullman’s railroad company, their paychecks drawn from the Pullman bank, and their rent, set by Pullman, deducted automatically from their weekly paychecks. The town, and the company, operated smoothly and successfully for more than ten years.

But in 1893, the company was caught in the nationwide economic depression. Orders declined, and hundreds of employees were laid off. Those who remained endured wage cuts, even while rents remained consistent. And so the employees walked out, demanding lower rents and higher pay.

The American Railway Union, led by a young Eugene V. Debs, came to the cause of the striking workers, and railroad workers across the nation boycotted trains carrying Pullman cars. Rioting, pillaging, and burning of railroad cars soon ensued; mobs of non-union workers joined in.

The strike instantly became a national issue. President Grover Cleveland, faced with nervous railroad executives and interrupted mail trains, declared the strike a federal crime and deployed 12,000 troops to break the strike. Violence erupted, and two men were killed when U.S. deputy marshals fired on protesters in Kensington, near Chicago, but the strike was doomed.

On August 3, 1894, the strike was declared over. Debs went to prison, his ARU was disbanded, and Pullman employees henceforth signed a pledge that they would never again unionize. Aside from the already existing American Federation of Labor and the various railroad brotherhoods, industrial workers' unions were effectively stamped out and remained so until the Great Depression.

The movement for a national Labor Day had been growing for some time. In September 1892, union workers in New York City took an unpaid day off and marched around Union Square in support of the holiday. But now, protests against President Cleveland's harsh methods made the appeasement of the nation's workers a top political priority. In the immediate wake of the Pullman strike, legislation was rushed unanimously through both houses of Congress, and the bill arrived on President Cleveland's desk just six days after his troops had broken the Pullman strike.

1894 was an election year. President Cleveland seized the chance at conciliation, and Labor Day was born on a Monday in September, but Cleveland still lost his bid for reelection.


Labor Day - The US Library of Congress

Labor Day - Wikipedia

Labor Day -

Labor Day – Origins and Early History of the Peoples’ Holiday -

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