Labor Day started as a protest.
The first Labor Day was on September 5, 1882 when over 10,000 workers left their work to march in New York City. This was when Americans had 12-hour days and worked six, if not seven, days a week. And there were no protections for child labor, so kids as young as 6 and 7 were working in factories and mines under horrible conditions.
Here’s a short video from TED-Ed that explains the origins of the holiday:
Of course, now we barely mention the labor movement or pay homage to the work of these early protesters to secure the many protections we now all have, whether or not it’s a union job. (I only work 5 days a week; how about you?)
As we spend this Labor Day hanging out with family and friends, why not honor those early protesters and their activism by inviting the folks we’re hanging out with to participate in our right to elect representatives who will listen to our needs and act on our behalf?
Bookmark your favorite voter registration app or website on your phone (I personally like IWillVote) and ask everyone to check on their voter registration status. You can just hand them your phone with the website cued up, and they can do a quick check.
Small actions can add up. Enjoy your Labor Day!