The first Labor Day parade was in 1882 in New York (on a Tuesday!) — and marching in it were bricklayers and shoemakers, printers and cigar makers, jewelers and cabinet makers and cloak makers.
Labor Day became an official holiday in 1894, which means this September 2nd is the 125th edition.
Some things have changed over those years, but there are still American industries where you’ll find hard-working (and well-paid) men and women at work — like the nation’s fuels and petrochemical industries.
In fact, if those workers made up a Labor Day parade of their own this year — you’d see iron workers and painters, electricians and process technicians, riggers and millwrights, crane operators and heavy equipment operators and welders and drivers and that still wouldn’t be the end of the parade. No cigar makers though. Sorry.
And if you were watching fuels and petrochemical workers marching on Labor Day — you could be in Pennsylvania or Washington State, Texas or New Jersey, Louisiana, California or Michigan — or any of the 26 other states where these industries operate — and hundreds of thousands of Americans go to work every day.
They’d have plenty to march about too. Not only is the work good pay (the average salary on the fuels side is $135,000 a year and $127,000 for petrochemical workers) — it’s good work: making the fuels that keep our country moving and the building blocks, raw materials that make our country, period.
And on this 125th Labor Day, we’d say that’s worth a shout out.
(Top Photo from Library of Congress: Labor Day, New York City, 1909.)
Click here to read more about what’s new, what’s next and what it means for you.