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Labor Day — Then and Now

 Labor Day THEN (1894)

Labor Day was signed into law as a federal holiday by President Grover Cleveland in 1894, six days after the end of the infamous wildcat, Pullman Strike when U.S. Marshals and some 12,000 U.S. military troops were ordered to Pullman, Illinois to break the strike under the pretext of enforcing the Sherman Antitrust Act and maintaing public safety.  The lithograph above by Frederic Remington (no fan of the strikers who he considered “malodorous … foreign trash”) appeared in Harper’s Weekly and shows the U.S. calvary herding strikers in the stockyards.  Although accounts differ, somewhere between 20 and 37 men were killed and more than fifty more seriously wounded.  The declaration of the holiday was intended in large measure to appease the labor movement against the fear of further violence and subsequently became a day for celebrating the economic contributions of laborers of all sorts to the nation.

Labor Day NOW (2011)

 Needless to say, No Caption Needed!


Labor Day — Then and Now


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