Friday, September 02, 2016 10:58 AM
On Labor Day we thank and recognize workers throughout Illinois who build, drive, deliver, protect, teach and care for us every day.
Labor Day's Illinois Roots
The Labor Day holiday is both a symbolic end to summer and, for many families, the chance to bring friends together for the last big cookout of the year. Throughout its 117 year long history, memories have faded a bit regarding the historic labor struggles that led to establishing the federal holiday in 1894. You might not know that Congress and President Grover Cleveland established this holiday in response to an Illinois labor dispute that sparked a national work stoppage and, ultimately, led to tragic deaths of workers at the hands of the government.
To learn about the Pullman Palace Car Company strike of 1894, here’s an excellent 1994 article from Illinois History, a publication of Northern Illinois University.
Illinois Labor History
Illinois is the home to some of the most important places and people of the American labor movement: Mt. Olive, the resting place of Mother Mary Jones; Springfield, the home and resting place of labor leader John L. Lewis; and even the nation’s oldest labor temple which stands in Jacksonville. Spend some time learning about how much impact courageous Illinoisans have had to ensure the dignity of working people.
The Illinois Senate Democrats stand with working families. We always have and we always will. As you enjoy your day off Monday, September 8, remember the holiday was created for and by American workers.
Take a look at our senators with our many friends in labor at recent events. Happy Labor Day!