Remember When …



A photo of an early Labor Day parade. Photos courtesy of the Burton Area Historical Society

A photo of an early Labor Day parade. Photos courtesy of the Burton Area Historical Society

I hope you all are getting ready for the Labor Day weekend, the weekend preceding the first Monday in September every year.

For most of us there’s no work, maybe the last barbeque with family, but no more white pants. Did you know the first Labor Day was a march to stop the 12-hour, 6 day a week work week? This was held on Sept. 5, 1892 with 10,000 people marched in New York City and of course it was an election year for President Grover Cleveland. So, the bill got passed. The biggest thing was to change to an 8-hour day (instead of 12 hours 6 days a week) 40-hour work week; 8 hours a day to work, 8 hours a day to relax and 8 hours a day sleep. Remember the Sit-down Strike of 1937, it was about workers’ rights?

Labor Day is celebrated in many countries, some have Labor Day on May 1, and this was also a day that there was a march for labor rights. Most countries, like us, celebrate in September; all for the same reason – labor. The first actual Labor Day parade was June 1894 in Chicago, then in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. after the bill was signed.

 

 

Now in America there are laws that protect the citizens from overworking without breaks and laws that provide a safe work environment.

What do you do for the holiday weekend? Some people go to the beach one last time before school starts back up. I like to plant some mums and decorate for the harvest.

In Michigan maybe take a drive, go to a movie at the U.S. 23 Drive-in on Fenton Road, go to a music festival in Flint, take a bike ride or art walk in Genesee County, we have lots to do – even with the social distancing.

Hopefully next year all of our festivities will be back in Genesee County.

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email History.Mona@yahoo.com.

A glimpse at one of the more peaceful moments of the Sitdown Strike of 1937.

A glimpse at one of the more peaceful moments of the Sitdown Strike of 1937.