The last few years have shown the workforce a lot about themselves and the culture of work in the United States from healthcare workers to teachers to local business owners. The holiday of labor day began in the late nineteenth century and is a tribute to local workers towards things we recognize as “American”– a strong work ethic, dreams of prosperity and striving for a good quality of life.

Celebrating Workers in Massachusetts

Before Labor Day was recognized as a national holiday, a few states including our own Massachusetts, took the opportunity to pass laws to recognize the holiday. In New York fashion, they were the first to adopt the holiday. A few years after, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey joined in. Popularity for the day took over, and by 1894, Congress officially made it a legal national holiday under President Grover Cleveland.

Another Time

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in New York. The event has been depicted by historical records as a lively one including a parade with about 25,000 people. Imagine a scene with workers holding signs, lively bands, families having picnics, and all displaying a general attitude of convivial comradery taking the day to celebrate the American workforce as a whole.

Women and Minorities Too

Men weren’t the only participants as women and immigrant families like the Irish, Italians, and other important minorities were eventually allowed to have more emphasis in the holiday festivities.

Labor Rights

Early American labor organizations were instrumental in contributing to what became unparalleled American “good living.” Imagine a workday without designated bathroom breaks, the requirement for at least 1-2 days off a week, days shorter than 8 hours, limited hours for child workers. All of these were movements for labor organizations during these formative years in the United States.

Competition: The United States Prevails

For decades, and even still, the United States has been seen as a country with wider opportunities to work and support a family in comparison to other countries around the world. 

Made of the People

We know businesses are successful because of the people that allow them to function and run every day, and we’re honored to support and work alongside many businesses in the Watertown and Greater Boston area. 


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J. M. Whitney Insurance is an independent insurance agency located in Watertown, Massachusetts. Give us a call, stop by, or request a quote online to find out how much we can save you on your insurance.

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