Education

TAP into South Plainfield Invites Public to Vote on "True Father of Labor Day"

b39529bf549c3519a87a_Labor_Day1.JPG
fdc990b063b453b668c1_Labor_Day2.jpg
b39529bf549c3519a87a_Labor_Day1.JPG

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - While everyone takes for granted that the first Monday in Sept. is Labor Day, not many people know who to thank for this extra day off from work. And, to make matters worse, there are two men with similar names credited with proposing the holiday for workers— Peter McGuire, a carpenter and Matthew Maguire, a machinist from Paterson, NJ. Now, more than 100 years after the first celebration of the holiday, The United States Department of Labor is asking for the public’s opinion in this matter. Those interested in helping to solve the debate over “Who is the Father of Labor Day,” may vote HERE.

TAP into South Plainfield is curious too. Readers are encouraged to place their vote on the TAP into South Plainfield Facebook page and TAP will announce the winner. While there, readers are asked to ‘like” the page and share it with residents so all can stay on top of the daily news and columns run on TAP into South Plainfield.

In the meantime, TAP into South Plainfield wishes all TAP readers and TAP advertisers a fun and safe Labor Day celebration.

Sign Up for E-News

History of Labor Day

According to the US Dept. of Labor, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Some records show that McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first to suggest a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold," according to the US Dept. of Labor.

However, others believe that Maguire, a machinist, not McGuire, founded the holiday, according to the US Dept. of Labor. In fact, recent research supports the contention that Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, NJ, proposed the holiday in 1882, while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

According to the US Dept. of Labor, it is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic. The first Labor Day observance was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883, according to the US Dept. of Labor.

DOL's Historian on the History of Labor Day

Linda Stinson, a former U.S. Department of Labor historian, provided the following details about the history of Labor Day in 2011 on the DOL website.

“When studying the history of Labor Day, two names stand out, and the funny thing is that they sound just alike. One is Peter J. McGuire, a leading official in the American Federation of Labor and organizer of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. The other is Matthew Maguire, a machinist from the Knights of Labor. The problem with declaring a single “founder” of Labor Day is that, at the time, no one realized that a new national holiday was being born. It was only after the fact that people tried to pinpoint a single founding father.

Seven years after that first New York Labor Day parade, the union journal for the United Brotherhood of Carpenters published an article claiming that their union brother, McGuire, made the original proposal to have the Labor Day event in New York and called for one day a year to be set aside as Labor Day. This article was reprinted yearly, and it became the common assumption that these were the facts.

However, in 1967, a retired machinist from Maguire’s union stepped up and claimed that his union brother was, in fact, the true originator of the movement for a national Labor Day. He pointed to an old newspaper article written nine years after the New York Labor Day parade titled “Labor Day: Its History and Development in the Land.” This article claimed that the first Secretary of the Central Labor Union, Maguire, was the one who arranged the parade. This claim was supported six years later when the grand marshal of the New York parade of 1882, himself, reminisced about how Maguire from the Knights of Labor had first suggested that the Central Labor Union call upon the unions of New York City to join together in a labor parade.

So the historical conundrum seems to hinge on the fact that the two names sound alike and were probably mixed up in the common consciousness. Toss in the years of bitter rivalry between the American Federation of Labor and the Knights of Labor and, of course; you’re going to have multiple heroes emerging in the legend of Labor Day.

I don’t really know if there is only one true parent of Labor Day. But when former Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz spoke at the convention of the International Association of Machinists in 1968, he said: “My decision…is that there is no question as to who is the father of Labor Day in this country. Officially, as of this moment, insofar as the Department of Labor is concerned, it is Matt Maguire, machinist!” So the question is McGuire versus Maguire, what do the TAP readers think?

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week Samantha Pullen Girls’ Spring Track

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ track team is off to another great start in the 2018 season.  Their record currently stands at 3-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers defeated divisional rivals Metuchen and Middlesex by the scores of 80-56 and 75-56.  They then went on to dominate Bishop Ahr by a score of 112-24.  Much of the Lady Tigers success has been due to the ...

The Athlete of the Week Tatianna Sutor Girls’ Lacrosse

The South Plainfield High School Girls’ Lacrosse team is off to a fantastic start to their 2018 season with a record of 2-0. This past week, the Lady Tigers crushed division rival Bishop Ahr by the score of 14-2, and then went on to beat Boonton 6-3.  A huge part of the success for South Plainfield has been due in a large part to the contributions of senior goalie Tatianna ...

Obituaries

Victor Kochmann, 92, passed away on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 surrounded by his loving family in ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter Welcoming Mike Zushma to Politics

April 19, 2018

Dear Editor, 

I'd like to welcome Mike Zushma to the world of politics and congratulate him on being selected as the town's Democratic Chairman.

 

I've served as Republican chair since 2009, and I've always enjoyed spending my time helping good people get elected to office.  In South Plainfield, it's never about party:  People work together and try ...

Natalie Stilo Signs with Drew University Golf Team

April 20, 2018

Natalie Stilo, Senior at Bishop George Ahr High School, has signed with Drew University's golf team. Currently, Natalie is on Bishop Ahr's golf team. Golf became her passion after her 10 year career in gymnastics ended. She has been working on her golf game and is excited to have the opportunity to play for Drew. She will attend Drew University in the Fall, majoring in Molecular Biology ...

Community Happenings

South Plainfield High School Hall Of Fame Is Seeking Nominees

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School Hall of Fame Committee is again holding their search for candidates for induction into the SPHS Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame was established at South Plainfield High School to recognize outstanding graduates as leaders in their fields who could serve as role models for current and future students.

Candidates will be evaluated on ...

Kennedy School Welcomes Author Lisa Mullarkey

April 19, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Teacher and children’s author Lisa Mullarkey stopped by John F. Kennedy Elementary School on April 18. 

“This year’s guest author was very well received by our students and staff. Mrs. Mullarkey spent the day motivating our students to be future writers," said Kennedy Principal Kevin Hajduk. "It was a privilege for our students at ...

Holy Savior Academy to Hold Open House on April 24

April 18, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Holy Savior Academy, an AdvancedED accredited Middlebrook Deanery Catholic School located in South Plainfield, will hold an open house the evening of Tuesday, April 24.At this time, prospective students and their families in pre-K3 through 8th grade will have the opportunity to tour the school, meet teachers and register. 

“Holy Savior ...

Elks Lodge #2298 Hosted Princess Breakfast

April 19, 2018

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 Youth Activities Committee recently hosted a Princess breakfast, in conjunction with the South Plainfield Summer Drama Workshop.   On the menu we featured only the BEST breakfast in town.  Our lil princesses were able to come down to have their pictures taken with their favorite Disney characters. 

The South Plainfield Elks Lodge #2298 ...

Part Time Position in Municipal Court

The South Plainfield Borough is seeking to hire a part time person with strong customer service skills to perform detailed Municipal Court clerical work.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Answering telephone and walk in inquiries, data entry, maintaining files and records for accuracy, processing payments, related duties as required.

Successful candidates should process ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_bbe5d2f368f320d67fab_img_3263

Sun, April 22, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 312 Elissa Court South Plainfield

Real Estate

Carousel_image_6fa66652e238649d073e_suburban_woman_s_club

Sun, April 22, 2:00 PM

South Plainfield

Suburban Woman's Club Luncheon/Fashion Show April ...

Carousel_image_79e43290d41725d212ec_taste_of_south_plainfield_2018

Mon, April 23, 6:00 PM

South Plainfield

Taste of South Plainfield

Carousel_image_bad097ae8b2fe018094c_mayors_wellness

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

Spring Wellness Health Fair - Mayor's Wellness

Carousel_image_5cb3a344be063f4eef87_hf_2018_updated-page-001

Sat, April 28, 9:00 AM

South Plainfield

South Plainfield's Annual Health and Fitness Fair

Carousel_image_540ba92b7ee7d0a56fba_elvis_tribute_final

Sat, April 28, 7:00 PM

South Plainfield

A Tribute to our Veterans - Jim Barone

Columns

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo

Retro Review: Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo (Citadel Press, 1970)

 

How does a reviewer do justice to a book called “the great American novel”? I first read Johnny Got His Gun during the Viet Nam war, when young people, nationwide, were protesting fighting in a war that was a senseless waste of life; a war in which the United States had no business participating.

Bookmarks

Your library is a hub of education and entertainment that is available to you not just when the library is open, but at all hours, thanks to our great online resources.  

If you want to brush up on your computer skills, or learn something new, try Learning Express.  You can access it through the library’s website. Once you’ve registered (you’ll need ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Hears Presentation on WWII Air Force Service Pilots

During World War II, one thousand seventy-four aviators, all with prior experience and airman certificates, flew over 60 million miles; transported every type of military aircraft; towed targets for live anti-aircraft gun practice; simulated strafing missions and transported cargo. Thirty-eight members of this elite group lost their lives and one went missing in performing their ...

Press Releases

Taste of South Plainfield Set for Monday, April 23rd

April 22, 2018

The seventh annual Taste of South Plainfield, set for Monday, April 23 from 6 to 9 p.m., will offer an all-you-can-eat sampling of local fare, craft beer and wine. The South Plainfield Business Association-sponsored event will be held at South Plainfield Sen ior Center, 90 Maple Ave.

This very popular event will include ethnic specialties and desserts as well as a variety of wine and craft ...