Decoded: Labor Day

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Labor Day: By the Numbers


While many think of Labor Day as an extra day off of school that divides summer from fall, the first Monday of every September encompasses much more than meets the eye.

Labor Day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements and victories that have been made by American workers throughout the years.

The government first began recognizing Labor Day as a national holiday in in the mid 1880s, and the holiday was presented to the New York legislature as a bill.

Now, many people celebrate the day off of work and school with food, friends, and family.

How are you going to spend your Labor Day? Let us know in the comments below!

See the gallery below for historical labor day pics:

36 PHOTOS
Labor Day
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Decoded: Labor Day

Eight-year-old Emma Kelly picks shrimp from 3 a.m. until 4 p.m. in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi in 1911.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

A steel worker in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Fernance Silvia, a 7 year old newsie, would sell papers until 8 p.m. some nights.

New Bedford, August 22, 1911.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

Children waiting to be smuggled in Winchendon, Massachusetts in 1911.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

A worker in an Illinois Steel Mill

(Stanley Kubrick, photographer, LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

Rosie the Riveter

(AP Photo/Joan Seidel, File)

Children going to work at the Chesapeake Knitting Mills in Berkley, VA on June 15, 1911.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

As in the sub-assembly departments, men and women work together in the final assembly of North American P-51 Mustang fighters.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

With so many working aged men fighting in WWII, women, who had long been denied rights in the workplace, received the opportunity to assist the war effort and change attitudes in American workplaces.

( Alfred T. Palmer, United States. Office of War Information. Bureau of Public Inquiries, Library of Congress)

Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, California 1939

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Five-year-old picks shrimp in 1911.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

Georgia turpentine worker skins bark from a tree, 1937.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Young Boys work in a textile factory

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

Young boys working at a cigarette factory on June 6, 1911 in Danville, Virginia.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

Though much of his legacy is marred by steel mill wage and safety strife, Andrew Carnegie's Steel Company was a major force in America's industrial boom. Later in his life, Carnegie devoted himself to philanthropy, building libraries and universities across the country.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska and Representative Fiorello H. La Guardia of New York, both Republicans, were the chief sponsors of the Norris- La Guardia Act that created an avenue for workers at the time to unionize peacefully.

(Library of Congress)

Young workers in the Stearns Silk Factory in Petersburg, Virginia in 1911.

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

Child protesters in New York

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

Shots of the young workers going in to Ayer Mill

Location: Lawrence, Massachusetts.

( Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

Young workers leave a mill at Sagamore Manufacturing Company on August 26, 1911 in Fall River, Massachusetts.

( Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, National Child Labor Committee Collection)

1915 Labor Day Parade

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

1909 Labor Day Parade

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

Bakers carry loaves of bread in the parade in 1909

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

Members of the oil workers union in front of their headquarters, Seminole, Oklahoma

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Veteran oil worker, now a peddler, Seminole, Oklahoma

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Migratory worker in auto camp. "Them WPAs are keeping us from a living. They oughtn't to do it. It ain't fair in no way. The government lays them off (that is in Work Projects Administration - 1939) and they come in because they're locals and take the jobs away from us that never had no forty-four dollars a month. I came out of Pennsylvania, used to be an oil worker. I'm getting along in years now and I seen lots of presidents and lots of systems. Voted for Roosevelt both times and I don't know of any president that ever leaned toward the laboring man like him, but this system they've got here in the fruit is a rotten system the way they work it." Yakima Valley, Washington

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Women war workers

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection)

Oil worker, Salem, Illinois

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Sugarcane worker, Louisiana

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Mexican carrot worker, Edinburg, Texas

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Migratory worker. Robstown camp, Texas

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Zinc smelter worker. Picher, Oklahoma

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Turpentine worker. DuPont, Georgia

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Steel worker. Midland, Pennsylvania

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Collection)

Workers on top of a building under construction 

(Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, photograph by Harris & Ewing)

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