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September is National History Month, so the NFH decided to “test” the people on the eastern plains. We presented three questions regarding Labor Day and U.S. history in general. It’s not exactly Jay Leno’s “Streetwalking series,” but we did find that our interviewees were smarter than Leno’s.

Drew Lester
Why do we celebrate Labor Day?People before us worked for our country, that’s why we get it off.What happened on July 4, 1776?The day we got our freedom from Britain.Where did the Statue of Liberty come from? Italy? Or France?Um, I don’t remember and they told us when we rode on that boat that went around the Statute of Liberty. Let’s just say Europe, OK?

Bill Goff
Why do we celebrate Labor Day?We need a day off from work.What happened on July 4, 1776?It’s Independence Day. The day we won our freedom from the British.Where did the Statue of Liberty come from?France

Moira Theriault
Black Forest
Why do we celebrate Labor Day?Give poor hard workers a day of rest.What happened on July 4, 1776?The colonies got their independence from Great Britain.Where did the Statue of Liberty come from?France

Shannon Telljohn
Why do we celebrate Labor Day?To recognize workers in the U.S.What happened on July 4, 1776? It’s Independence Day for the U.S from England.Where did the Statue of Liberty come from?France

History of Labor DayAs the Industrial Revolution took hold of the nation, the average American in the late 1800s worked 12-hour days seven days a week in order to make a living. Children were also working, as they provided cheap labor to employers, and laws against child labor were not enforced.With the long hours and terrible working conditions, American unions became more prominent, voicing demands for a better way of life. On Tuesday Sept. 5, 1882, 10,000 workers marched from city hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first-ever Labor Day parade. Participants took an unpaid day off to honor the workers of America, as well as to vocalize their issues with employers. As years passed, more states hosted the parades, but Congress did not legalize the holiday until 12 years after the first parade.The founder of Labor Day remains unclear, but some credit Peter McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, and others credit Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union. Source: www.history.comThe technical answer to “what happened on July 4, 1776” is the day we signed the Declaration of Independence, declaring our freedom from England.P.S. The Statue of Liberty is from France.

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