More than 120 years ago thousands of New Yorkers marched from City Hall to Union Square, down 42nd street and toward Wendel’s Elm Park where they gathered for food, music and demonstrations in what was America’s first Labor Day celebration. The idea for a workers’ holiday is said to have emerged from the ranks of organized labor during a time when workers wished to demonstrate the strength of this burgeoning movement and advocate for improvements in working conditions. The trend eventually caught on, inspiring similar events across the country. In 1887 Oregon became the first state to grant legal status to the holiday and in 1894 Congress passed legislation declaring Labor Day a national holiday.
Throughout the following decades workers viewed the holiday as an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments while fighting for better working conditions and salaries. These days, the first Monday in September is often associated less with union activities and protests, and instead is a time for eating, drinking, sporting, and paying homage to summer’s last hurrah.
So whether you’re working on a dream, taking a break from your 9 to 5, or enjoying your mo’ money (and thinking about your mo’ problems), take it easy with this GRAMMY Labor Day playlist.
On May 5, 1868, three years following the end of the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic established Decoration Day, encouraging the nation to decorate the graves of fallen war veterans with flowers. By the end of the 19th century memorial ceremonies were celebrated on May 30 across the nation, and by 1971 Congress officially declared every last Monday in May as Memorial Day.
In December 2000 the National Moment of Remembrance Act was passed and signed into law by President George W. Bush in an effort to ensure that those sacrifices made by America’s fallen heroes were never forgotten. The act encourages all Americans to participate in a minute of silence wherever they may be at 3 p.m. on Memorial Day.
Once those 60 seconds have passed we encourage you to crank up the tunes in honor of those brave soldiers who have sacrificed their lives in the name of freedom with our GRAMMY Memorial Day playlist.