Jaco – A Violent Start To A Three Day Holiday

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KPLR) - So this evening starts the Labor Day weekend. In this political climate maybe it should be called the, "Labor Thug Big Labor Boss Day." Since unions and organized labor have become dirty words to a lot of politicians.  Let's take a closer look at Labor Day. But first, a pointed reminder; It's not because of organized labor that you have Labor Day off. It's because of organized labor that you have weekends off at all.

The idea for Labor Day first came in New York in 1882. Around thirty states declared their own Labor Day holidays to honor the contribution of America's workers. It was a scattered affair. Then came 1894. That year workers went on strike against the pullman railroad car company in Chicago.

The strike ended when it was broken by railroad police, Chicago police and  12,000 United States Army Troops. A dozen strikers were killed almost 60 were injured. For a day or two it started to look like angry workers in every city might start rising up, striking and creating general havoc. So president Grover Cleveland jammed a law through congress declaring Labor Day a national holiday to honor American workers. It was signed into law only six days after the Pullman strike was busted by the US Military.

The first Monday in Septrember was selected because president Cleveland wanted to keep Labor Day from being on May 1st. May day, which then was the traditional international workers day. Cleveland didn't want the American celebration muddied up by anarchists and communists; so he made in in September, not May.

That's how you ended up with a three day weekend. All it took were 12,000 US Army troops and a dozen people shot dead. Happy Labor Day.

I'm Charles Jaco and that's Jacology.