Did You Know a Significant Uprising in Illinois is the Reason for Labor Day?
It doesn't get much more the "More You Know" than this one right here.
With Labor Day coming on Monday, I figured I would look into how it all came about.
I mean, I know Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer, the kids are all back to class and we're staring at fall, winter, and the end of the year.
However, I was interested in why Labor Day is Labor Day. Like, how did it come about?
Little did I know that Labor Day really has its roots in a significant uprising in a city in Illinois just outside of Chicago.
in May 1894, workers went on strike to protest 16-hour workdays and low wages at the Pullman Palace Car Company, which manufactured railroad cars in a plant near Chicago. Members of the powerful American Railway Union (ARU) joined in, refusing to move Pullman cars. Rail traffic across the country was crippled. Days after the ARU joined the Pullman strike, a languishing bill to make Labor Day a national holiday was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland.
It didn't end well, as Cleveland sent in the National Guard to break up the fracas but ended up killing "dozens of people" after opening on the crowd of strikers.
It was a bloody end to a significant event in American history and it all happened because employees at a manufacturing plant in Illinois decided they had enough and opted for change.
Labor Day is truly an American holiday. Enjoy your time off.