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From Fire Dog Lake:

I wonder how much of the Faux News/Becktard crowd, who supposedly love our history, actually know why they get the day off today.

It was first celebrated in this country in the 1880s — at a time when people commonly worked 12-hour days. The first Labor Day rally, in 1882, was in support of an eight-hour workday.

And those “people” included small children and the elderly. And they worked 7 days a week, in horrible conditions, and for little pay.

Still, why all the fuss? I’m quite certain the free market would’ve worked all that out eventually.

Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Quick! Someone tell Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck that a socialist union leader is behind today’s national holiday. Since they love empty theatrical gestures, maybe they’ll organize a boycott where all wingnuts — in protest — show up for work today.