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Friday, May 01, 2009

Happy Labour's day... The origin...

Today, May 1 is Labour day... Hmmm... I was wondering how and where it originates from. Well, thanks to Google search, I now present you: "THE ORIGIN OF LABOUR DAY".


"The Origin of Labor Day
By Ryan M. Hoback ; 09/05/05

Labor Day is truly a global holiday, or as it is known internationally May Day. The roots of Labor Day stretch back to the 1810’s and what was known as the eight hour day movement. Robert Owen, as early as 1817 had formulated the goal of the eight-hour day and coined the slogan Eight hours labor, Eight hours recreation, Eight hours rest.

In the new founded Wellington colony in 1840, the carpenter Samuel Parnell refused to work more than eight hours a day. This movement also began in Australia, when the Stonemasons stopped working and proceeded to march on Parliament from the University of Melbourne, to achieve an eight hour work day. This movement eventually found its way to Canada as well, and Labor Day in Canada as well as the United States can be attributed directly to the efforts of the Knights of Labor.


The Knights of Labor was labor union founded in secrecy in December 1869, by a group of Philadelphia tailors led by Uriah S. Stephens. Originally called 'The Noble and Holy Order of the Knights of Labor', it was designed to protect all who worked for a living. They organized a parade by on September 5, 1882 in New York City which became an annual parade when it was organized a second time in 1884.

The International Workingmen's Association, many of whom were socialists or anarchists, favored a May 1 holiday. With the event of Chicago's Haymarket riots in early May of 1886, president Grover Cleveland believed that a May 1 holiday could become an opportunity to commemorate the riots. Thus, fearing that it might strengthen the socialist movement, he quickly moved in 1887 to support the position of the Knights of Labor and their date for Labor Day.

Since then, Labor Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September in the United States since the 1880s. The September date has remained unchanged, even though the government was encouraged to adopt May 1 as Labor Day, the date celebrated by the majority of the world.

That's all folks... Thanks for reading...

References:
1) http://www.motivatedentrepreneur.com/articles/The_Origin_of_Labor_Day.shtml

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