• Labor Day
  • By: Jim Monahan, Senior Freight Coordinator

    Labor Day 2014

    A fact not taught by many schools – President Grover Cleveland and Congress passed legislation creating Labor Day in 1894 after a tragic incident that claimed 30 lives. It started when George Pullman was on a trip from Buffalo to Westfield, New York and was inspired to design improved railcars that included sleeper berths in 1862. He formed the Pullman Palace Car Co. Its workers initially lived in a planned worker community named Pullman. During an economic downturn, Pullman reduced hours and wages but not rents precipitating a strike. This resulted in a confrontation with federal marshals and the Army that killed 30 people. Soon after the walkout ended, the President and Congress quickly passed and signed legislation for the Holiday.

    Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

    “From assembly lines to classrooms, across highways and steel mills, American workers strengthen the foundation of our country and demonstrate that our economy grows best from the middle out,” President Obama says in his formal holiday proclamation.

    For many of us – we celebrate this Holiday with parades, hot dogs and burgers out around the pool with friends and family. Or we take in the baseball game.


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