Education

Was a Paterson Machinist the Father of Labor Day?

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BASKING RIDGE, NJ- This Monday is Labor Day across the United States. It is a negative for some because it represents the un-official end of summer and for some school districts it also is the last free day before school starts.  The long weekend has always been a welcome treat since I entered the workforce some 25 years ago.

I wanted to simply know, who is the person that I should thank for this extra free day? 

Since the first Labor Day observance on Tuesday, September 5, 1883, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers.

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Peter McGuire, was credited with the establishment of Labor Day.  McGuire was also active in the formation of New York's Central Labor Council and in 1897 he claimed to be the founder of Labor Day.

"Files at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark show that Matthew Maguire of Paterson was not only a man to be reckoned with in the beginning days of the American labor union movement, but was very probably the man behind the creation of Labor Day," according to Grace-Ellen McCrann, Special Collections Librarian for The New Jersey Historical Society.

Was this Paterson, New Jersey Machinist the real "Father of Labor Day"?

The United States Department of Labor would like your opinion in this matter.  So, at the link below you can click to vote for the “Real Maguire.”

http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm

THANK YOU!  Mr. Mcguire or Mr. Maguire.... and ENJOY THE DAY.

 

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