Dear Amy: Why do we celebrate Labor Day? — Aaron Z., Burlington, Vermont
Dear Aaron: More than 100 years ago, many workers had to spend very long hours under harsh conditions. Even small children were forced to work in unsafe environments in factories until groups began to organize and form unions.
The labor unions demanded shorter hours, fair wages and more sanitary conditions. They also sought age limits so that small children would not be forced to work in factories with heavy machinery. Labor Day celebrates the social and economic achievements of these workers.
The first Labor Day parade was held in New York City in 1882, and 12 years later Labor Day was declared a national holiday. To learn more about the history behind this holiday, check out the following sites:
History of Labor Day
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