Labor Day - Uncovered

9:13 PM

I thought I knew the meaning of Labor Day - guess not.


During the Industrial Revolution, American workers (including kids) were expected to work nearly 12 hour days, seven days a week. In 1893, Pullman, Illinois, a small company town that employed workers to build railway cars, was in the midst of some really hard times. George Pullman, an industrial engineer and inventor who founded the small town, had decided to cut wages and jobs for everyone working for his railway car company.

Demanding higher salaries, thousands of workers walked off their jobs in protest, causing the railway car assembly line to back up. And that's when President Grover Cleveland stepped in, declared the strike illegal, and sent over 12,000 troops to Pullman to break up the strike. His decision caused massive bloodshed and led Congress the following year to pass an act to make the first Monday in September a national holiday in honor of the labor protest.

Did you know that?

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