The Stamp and Coin Place Blog: connecting the past and present of stamp and coin collecting, and looking to the future.

A Look at Labor Day

 

 

Today we celebrate and honor all workers, especially those in manual labor.

 

 

Capture04In the late 19th century, support began to rise for a holiday to celebrate labor, and provide a time of rest and festivity for labor workers and their families. Though the origins of the holiday are somewhat in question, the generally accepted story is that Labor Day sprang from a General Assembly of the Knights of Labor in New York City, in September of 1882. The Secretary of the Central Labor Union, Matthew Maguire, proposed a national Labor Day holiday to be held in subsequent Septembers.

 

 

Capture02Oregon was the first state to officially celebrate Labor Day in 1887. Thirty states celebrated Labor Day by the time it was made a federal holiday in 1894. After workers were killed by the Army and Marshals Service during the Pullman Strike of 1894, when factory workers who lived in a Pullman company town struck for better working and living conditions, Congress unanimously approved Labor Day as a national holiday, and it was signed into law by President Cleveland only 6 days after the Pullman Strike ended. While some favored the traditional European date of May 1 for a labor celebration, others were concerned that a May Day celebration would result in Haymarket-style incidents, and would support socialist and anarchist movements.

 

 

Capture03Labor Day became a day of rest for workers and their families, often complete with festivals, speeches, and parades. The tradition of Labor Day sales sprung out of this, as stores moved to take advantage of workers who now had a whole day to shop. However you celebrate, The Stamp & Coin Place wishes you a happy Labor Day!

 

 

The stereo cards shown here, along with other vintage collectibles, can be found in the Stamp & Coin Place store on eBay.

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