Remembering the fight for Labor Day in 1890s Rhode IslandSeptember 3rd, 2012 at 5:00 am by Ted Nesi under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site
In the modern age, many American holidays’ roots have been largely forgotten, becoming more like Britain’s bank holidays than specific celebrations. Labor Day is one of those, which is too bad, since it has a rich local history of its own.
In the midst of the financial panic of 1893, Rhode Island workers secured a long-sought ambition – the establishment of the first Monday in September as a legal holiday.
The state’s horny-fisted sons and daughters of toil had marched, petitioned, and agitated for over a decade. Rhode Island workers witnessed New York and Oregon pass holiday legislation in 1887, and by the spring of 1893 most other states had followed suit. The General Assembly, under the prodding of elected representatives from various mill towns, finally joined the bandwagon, and Governor Russell Brown signed the authorization.
Read the rest here. I’ll be back tomorrow – Happy Labor Day!
(image credit: Quahog.org)