Saturday, August 25, 2007

Holiday History

I love to read the history of various holidays--it's fascinating stuff! At The History Channel you can click on Holidays under the heading of Topics and get this page. There you will find "The History of the Holidays". There are a number of them to click on, from those that are traditional in the USA, to those from other traditions that you hear of from time to time.

This morning, I clicked on Labor Day, as that's our next holiday here in America. Here are the first two paragraphs of The History Channel's write up:
As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the nation, the average American in the late 1800s worked 12-hour days, seven days a week in order to make a basic living. Children were also working, as they provided cheap labor to employers and laws against child labor were not strongly enforced.

With the long hours and terrible working conditions, American unions became more prominent and voiced their demands for a better way of life. On Tuesday September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers marched from city hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first-ever Labor Day parade. Participants took an upaid day-off to honor the workers of America, as well as vocalize issues they had with employers. As years passed, more states began to hold these parades, but Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later.
And the last paragraph:
Although Labor Day is meant as a celebration of the labor movement and its achievements, it has come to be celebrated as the last, long summer weekend before Autumn.
There are links to various people and terms used so that you can get more information. For example, the eight-hour work day.

Lots to learn in history!!

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