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workerAnnually observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day is a celebration of the American labor movement. The holiday is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers, as well a national tribute to the contributions those workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

According to History.com, Labor Day, “originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.”

Today, as we celebrate with picnic, pool parties, and barbeques, it is important to remember the origins of this original “workingmen’s holiday!”

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Photo by Suat Eman from Free Digital Images.