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Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States celebrating the achievements of American workers. It is observed every first Monday of September with parades, parties, and sports activities. It is also known as the “workingmen’s holiday.” For young Americans, it signifies the end of summer. See the fact file below for more information on Labor Day or alternatively download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- During the late 19th century, while America was at the peak of Industrial Revolution, American workers had 12 hours shift per day for 7 straight days for them to make and survive a living.
- Factories and mines were at the height of demand which accepted workers of all ages. Despite prohibitions, some states practiced child labor as young as 6 years old. Workers were exposed to an unsafe environment.
- The American Industrial Revolution dramatically increased the manufacturing industry replacing the agricultural sector. As a result, labor unions were established.
- Unionization spread quickly, and unions grew easily. They started organizing rallies, strikes, and protests about reforms on working hours, pay, and safety.On February 21,
- 1881, Oregon was the first to pass the law making Labor Day a holiday. On the same year, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York followed.
- On September 5, 1882, almost 10,000 workers marched their way to the Union Square in New York City marking the first Labor Day parade in U.S history.
- The Haymarket Riot of 1886 was considered one of the most violent protests held by the workers. A number of Chicago policemen and workers were killed.
- On May 11, 1894, most of the Pullman Palace Car Company’s employees went on strike to protest salary cuts and termination of union representatives. By June 26, Eugene V. Debs led the American Railroad Union. They boycotted the Pullman railway cars which shut down most railroad traffic west of Detroit, MI. Dozens of workers were killed from the riot after the federal government sent troops to Chicago. The event caused massive unrest since the death of workers was made public.
- By the end of 1894, 23 states passed the Labor Day holiday law.
- In order to pacify the workers, the Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. Both Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor and Matthew Maguire, secretary of the Central Labor Union were credited for proposing the holiday.
- In 1909, the American Federation of Labor convention made a resolution adopting Labor Sunday prior to Labor Day to be celebrated for the labor movement’s’ educational accomplishments.
Labor Day Celebration:
- Today, Labor Day is celebrated across the United States of America. Like other federal holidays, the day is celebrated with colorful parades, fireworks displays, community picnics, and barbeques.
- For American children and teenagers it marks the end of summer and start of school season.
- Speeches by union officials, industrialists, educators, and government officials are heard all over the radio and television.
- Labor Day commemorates the enduring contributions of American workers to the ideals of economic and political democracy as well the nation’s strength.
- During Labor Day weekend, many of the American football teams play their first game of the season.
- Most of the businesses and all of government agencies and offices take their day off. It is also the last time for families to take summer trips.
- Unlike the rest of the world, American Labor Day was not set on May 1 in order to break the long gap of Independence Day and Thanksgiving.
Labor Day Worksheets
This bundle contains a BUMPER worksheet pack with over 20 individual worksheets included that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Labor Day which is a federal holiday in the United States celebrating the achievements of American workers.
- Labor Day Facts
- Mapping the Holiday
- Maguire v. McGuire
- America’s Labor Force
- Earn More?
- U.S Presidents on Job Issues
- The Haymarket Riot
- Labor Day Acrostics
- Industrial Revolution Facts
- Key Figure in American Labor
- Labor Unions
- Women, War, and Work
- U.S Federal Holidays
- Labor Code
- Labo(u)r Day Around the World
- Cartoon Analysis
- What You Did Last Summer
- Let’s Celebrate!
- Labor Headline
- I Want to Be
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Link will appear as Labor Day Facts and Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 22, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.