Monday, September 5, 2011

What is Labor Day?

Labor day is a holiday in America on which West Indian(Caribbean) people celebrate their culture, most commonly buy attending the labor day/West Indian day parade. It's america's Carnival.
But What exactly is Labor day, When did it all start? Why is it called Labor day? Why is it associated with West Indians? Well here's the explanation Wikipedia gives:

    History of Labor Day- The first big Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York. It was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labor festival held in Toronto, Canada.Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday in 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day. Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation's trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers' Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would be associated with the nascent Communist, Syndicalist and Anarchist movements that, though distinct from one another, had rallied to commemorate the Haymarket Affair in International Workers' Day. All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday. 
    History of the labor day Carnival- Ms. Jessie Waddell and some of her West Indian friends started the Carnival in Harlem in the 1920s by staging costume parties in large enclosed places like the Savoy, Renaissance and Audubon Ballrooms due to the cold wintry weather of February. This is the usual time for the pre-Lenten celebrations held in most countries around the world. However, because of the very nature of Carnival, and the need to parade in costume to music, indoor confinement did not work well. The earliest known Carnival street parade was held on September 1, 1947. The Trinidad Carnival Pageant Committee was the founding force behind the parade, which was held in Harlem. The parade route was along Seventh Avenue, starting at 110th St.
The permit for the Harlem parade was revoked in 1964. Five years later, a committee headed by Carlos Lezama, which eventually became the West Indian-American Day Carnival Association, obtained approval for the parade to be established on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, where it remains today.

I feel that most West Indians here in america are apart of the working class so basically we took the day and made it our own.

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