Labor Day History

It’s Labor Day today is the US. What is this “Holiday” about?

The Times had a good article about the beginning of the holiday and a little about being a “working man” in the late 1800s.

It had started when the Pullman Palace Car Company lowered wages without lowering rents in the company town, also called Pullman. (It’s now part of Chicago.)

When angry workers complained, the owner, George Pullman, had them fired. They decided to strike, and other workers for the American Railway Union, led by the firebrand activist Eugene V. Debs, joined the action. They refused to handle Pullman cars, bringing freight and passenger traffic to a halt around Chicago. Tens of thousands of workers walked off the job, wildcat strikes broke out, and angry crowds were met with live fire from the authorities.

During the crisis, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law on June 28, 1894, declaring Labor Day a national holiday. Some historians say he was afraid of losing the support of working-class voters.

Source NYT

Sorry to link to paywall sources but this is where I read it this morning. Here is a link to Wikipedia: Labor Day

Working men on parade!