sign up (free!)
American Federation of Labor, early 1900s. Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University. Copyright Labor Arts Inc. (here under Fair Use for education). The first national Labor Day in the U.S. was in 1894, with advocacy for an eight-hour day, better working conditions, and unionization.
What kind of problems in the industrial workplace caused labor unions to form? Aligned with Writing Common Core Standards, students will analyze historical sources for textual evidence, specifically searching for what pushed workers to the boiling point.
Labor Day: What is the History behind this Holiday? (A guide to Labor Day!)
The shoemaker (late 19th century). Jan Matzeliger, born in 1852, immigrated to the US "at age 18 and went to work in a shoe factory in Philadelphia. Shoes then were hand made, a slow tedious process. Jan Matzeliger helped revolutionize the shoe industry by developing a shoe lasting machine that would attach the sole to the shoe in one minute."