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My Blog

Labor Day and Chicago

Well good morning to everyone.  Hope that this extended holiday is going well for all.  As I sat and watched the sunrise this morning, I thought about how I am living in a city that so much history has stemmed from. This weekends holiday, especially saw it's birth of Labor Day in this fair city.  I have to laugh to myself just a bit on the statement of birth of a holiday, since when a woman gives birth it is called Labor.  Labor is just hard work.  To think of the times the word labor is used.  We have labored breathing, we toil and labor.  So to achieve a day off of work was indeed, not an easy task.  It took much labor to achieve this day for all men and woman who labored at their jobs. 
It was interesting to me when I worked yesterday with the Alzheimer residents.  We talked about their jobs and what they did in the past.  Very interesting history. It was a good time to have them share their stories, but of all the jobs they held...they felt the job of motherhood was the most difficult.  I think because motherhood encompasses more than one duty.  They are cooks, laundresses, maids, chauffer's, nurses, inspirational speakers, teachers, leaders, disciplinarians and so much more.  Often times their labors are not viewed as labor.  It is often just expected.  I once read an article that said if a woman was paid for her work in the home she would earn approximately $138,000.00 per year.  It is also estimated that she puts in approximately 92 hours of work a week.  Now how would a union feel about that?
That brings me to the topic of the day, Labor Day and Chicago.  Did you know that all the hub bub of Labor Day began with the Pullman Company right here in Chicago?  Mr. Pullman had purchased 4,300 acres and had 12,000 employees working and living on those acres.  He actually had built a town for his employees, so that whatever they needed would be found there in that area.  In the year of 1894 the Pullman town became the center for the storm eruption that occurred amongst the workers. There had been wage cuts but not any lowering of their housing expense.  It was a so called recession of the times that caused the upheaval.  Grover Cleveland, who was President of the U.S. stepped in with the armed forces to help settle the dispute or the strike at the time.  The strike was ended
Labor Day became a day to celebrate as a time off for workers.  And it had been celebrated ever since.  Most people use it a just another long day weekend, but should really stop and read about why and how this day in history began...not so very long ago.  It has only been around for the past 119 years.  Not a very long time in history, even for American History. 

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