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Why do Americans and Canadians celebrate Labor Day? - Kenneth C. Davis

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In the United States and Canada, the first Monday of September is a federal holiday, Labor Day. Originally celebrated in New York City’s Union Square in 1882, Labor Day was organized by unions as a rare day of rest for the overworked during the Industrial Revolution. Kenneth C. Davis illustrates the history of Labor Day from Union Square to today.

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Here are some places to learn more about the history of labor and labor unions in America:

The United States Department of Labor maintains labor statistics and history at its official website and its history pages.

The AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) has a Timeline of Labor History in America.

The Public Broadcasting Service offers videos on labor history.

For more on the Haymarket Square Riots in Chicago, the Chicago Historical Society maintains a website.

More on information on the Pullman Strike, which led to the passage of the Labor Day law, can also be found at the Public Broadcasting Service site on George Pullman.

You can read also read more about labor in American History in my book Don’t Know Much About® History
And you can follow my blogs about history and the headlines at www.dontknowmuch.com
Here's a TED-Ed Best Flip about Labor Day.

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