History Channel’s Labor Day Beginnings

Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894.

FANNING THE BARBECUE hot classic barbecue babe by vintage pinup artist Gil Elvgren to celebrate hot hot summer Labor Day

Fanning the Barbecue by Gil Elvgren

Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.Child Labor is not working

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it.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.

In 1894, people throughout the nation relied on such publications as Leslie's Illustrated Weekly to keep up with the drama that was unfolding with the Pullman strike in Chicago.

In 1894, people throughout the nation relied on such publications as Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly to keep up with the drama that was unfolding with the Pullman strike in Chicago.

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.More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified.

Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday. Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

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National Macadamia Nuts Day – Sept. 4

Here are today’s five thing to know about Macadamia: Macadamia nuts are native to Australia. They are named for John Macadam, a Scottish born physician and chemist who promoted the nuts cultivation in Australia. The Macadamia Nut is one of Australia’s few contributions to the world’s food plants, and this rich, buttery nut is considered […]

via September 4th is National Macadamia Nut Day! — Foodimentary – National Food Holidays

Jambalaya

Jambayla

Bon Temps!

  • 4 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 c. onions, chopped
  • 4 c. water
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1  1/2 c. (8oz.) ham, diced
  • Three  5 oz.  bags saffron yellow rice (the Mahatma® brand is recommended)
  • Two 10 oz. boxes frozen cut okra, thawed
  • 1 lb. raw, peeled shrimp

Directions:   Heat oil in a large pan.  Add onions and sauté until golden, approx. 3 to 4 inches.   Add water, red pepper and ham. Bring to a boil, stir in rice mix, reduce heat, cover, and simmer 15 minutes.  Stir in okra and shrimp. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, approx. 7 minutes or until shrimp are cooked and rice is tender.  Keep warm in a Crock-pot on low heat.

Yield: 8 servings  (385 calories)

Mama’s Fried Chicken from Southern Living©

by Curtis Aikens for Southern Living

Yield: 4 to 6 Servings

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • Self-rising flour
  • Vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken in a shallow dish or zip-top plastic bag, and add buttermilk. Cover or seal, and chill at least 2 hours. 
  2. Remove chicken from buttermilk, discarding buttermilk. Dredge chicken in flour.
  3.  Pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches in a deep skillet or Dutch oven; heat to 360°. Add chicken, a few pieces at a time; cover and cook 6 minutes. Uncover chicken, and cook 9 minutes. Turn chicken; cover and cook 6 minutes. Uncover and cook 5 to 9 minutes, turning chicken the last 3 minutes for even browning, if necessary. Drain on paper towels.

National Fried Chicken Day – July 6

Five Food Finds about Chicken: The greatest height a chicken egg has been dropped from without cracking is 700ft. This bird was probably first domesticated for the purpose of cockfights, not as food. Chickens aren’t completely flightless—they can get airborne enough to make it over a fence or into a tree. These birds are omnivores. […]

via July 6th is National Fried Chicken Day — Foodimentary – National Food Holidays