Politics

Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day?

Grover Cleveland had people killed for going on strike, and he’s super sorry about it. Who wants hot dogs?

In 1894, over 3000 employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Pullman, Illinois had that wages reduced. Many of the workers were members of the American Railway Union, and as such, they went on strike.

The strike gained support from rail workers and labor unions across the country, inlcuding 250,000 workers across 27 states, and resulted in a virtual shutdown of the American railway system and subsequently the mail.

Eventually, President Grover Cleveland authorized US Marshals and 12,000 US Army to break up the strike.

30 workers were killed, another 57 wounded.

Boycott leader Eugene V. Debs was imprisoned for 6 months for interfering with the mail.

Fearful of further retaliation, President Cleveland made appeasing the Labor movement a top priority. Six days later, he gave the country one day off every year, declaring Labor Day a national holiday.

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