The History of Labor Day

Monday, September 05, 2011

Young girl and her father at the Coney Island beach the Friday before Memorial Day. (Stephen Nessen/WNYC)

On this Labor Day many are celebrating a free day off from work with barbecues and beach trips. The holiday originally started in 1882 in New York City as a way for early unions to organize for basic workers rights. On the first Labor Day 30,000 union members to a picnic with their families in Union Square Park.

We're speaking with Ken Davis, author of "Don’t Know Much About History" and wrote about Labor Day for CNN. He tells us about the violent history of Labor Day, including Labor struggles, poor working conditions and the first Labor Day in Union Square.


Kenneth C. Davis

Produced by:

Laura Parkinson

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