The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #25044   Message #290740
Posted By: bflat
04-Sep-00 - 10:57 AM
Thread Name: Happy Labor Day (US)
Subject: RE: Happy Labor Day (US)
The holiday honoring working people is also observed in Puerto Rico. New research by Grace-Ellen McCrann of the New Jersey Historical Society places Matthew Mcguire as the founder of Labor Day. He led a strike in Brooklyn for a shorter work week. He organized a huge parade in Manhattan for what was termed "Labor Day" on Tuesday September 5, 1882. 10,000 to 25,000 participants were attracted to the parade. He and his wife rode in the first carriage with Henry Ward Beecher the abolitionist preacher. Apparantly Maguire was a Marxist and there was unrest and blacklisting even among union organizers. There are a number of newspaper articles of the time that support Matthew Maguire as the author of Labor Day. Unfortunately Peter McGuire claimed to be the founder in 1897, three years after President Cleveland made it a national holiday and five years after the parade. Needless to say the debate continues.