Podcast Episode - Do You Know Why?


Education, Employee Benefits, Work


September 05, 2021

Listen to Podcast Episode:

On this episode, Suze gives us a brief lesson on the history of Labor Day in the U.S. and why it’s so important to pause for a few moments and remember those workers who paved the way for the benefits and working conditions we enjoy today.


Podcast Transcript:

September 5th, 2021. That means tomorrow is Labor Day. Are you taking the day off? Are you celebrating? Are you having a barbecue? What are you doing tomorrow? Whatever it is, I hope you are happy doing it now. A few days ago, I told you that I would be doing on September 14th a live webinar that we are calling asked Suze anything so you'll be able to see me. You can send in questions. I will be asking those chosen live on this webinar but I forgot to tell you where you go to register for it. So here you go to register and it is free, you go to suzeorman.com/webinar Just that simple. Again, it will be September 14th 6 p.m. East Coast time, so adjust that that is when it will absolutely be live. We do repeats of it where we show it again for those of you who can't be there. But at least register so we can send everything to you that you need to know. But if you don't do it live that day, then I can't answer your questions because it's really just to repeat and no longer really live. So, just remember that. Also, I just want to say that many of you have been writing to me and asking me questions about long term care insurance and I just want you to know what I do now with those emails. There is one woman in the United States in my opinion by the name of Phyllis Shelton. I actually have a link to her on the women and money community app that if you go to there and you look at all my resources on the homepage, she's right there. However, she is like I said in my opinion, the nation's expert on it. So, I have been forwarding your emails that you send to me, directly to her and she has been answering every single one of them. So, it's just something that you should know that you are going to get an answer back. If you write me an email about long term care insurance and you have a question about it. Also, Phyllis is having a webinar as well and it's really going to be on September 9th and it's at one p.m. East Coast time and to register for it for free. You go to buddyins.com and that's where you can register for it. There will be repeats of it. All you have to do is register. So, those are the two things that I want you to know. All right, Labor Day. You know, I know we're all celebrating Labor Day, but do you even know why we celebrate Labor Day like what is it that we're actually celebrating. So, I think it's really important that you understand that while this is a day that we celebrate that a lot of people gave up their lives, they gave a lot to change, to make sure that workers were protected. So, I think it's really important that you understand where this comes from and why we celebrate it. So, I just want to talk a little bit about Labor Day because I think it's really important that we just don't celebrate a holiday without thinking about those that created this holiday and why we celebrate it. So, we celebrate it annually every single year. But it originated during one of America's really most dismal chapters when it comes to labor history. It was in the late 1800s and it was at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States. And do you know, that the average American back then worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week in order just to get by to get the most basic of living standards, nothing, really nothing and that's how hard they work. And even though there were many restrictions on kids working in most of the states, kids as young as five or six, they actually went to work in the mills and the factories and the mines across the entire country. Earning just a fraction of the wages, that an adult would make in that position. So, people of all ages, especially those that were very poor and the recent immigrants, the people who had just come to this country, they faced extremely unsafe working conditions, they did not have access to fresh air, they didn't have access everybody to these bathrooms and sanitary facilities and breaks, none of that even existed for them. So, as manufacturing and as this continued, continued to grow, what sprung up was all these labor unions that represented all of these people that represented American employment, that really wasn't up to standards. And they first appeared in the late 18th century, that's a long time ago. And they grew really, to be very popular and they became very vocal and they began to organize strikes and rallies to protest poor working conditions and to really force or compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. So, people who couldn't represent themselves, who didn't know what to do, had a body of people that we're representing them. Now, what was sad is that many of these events, these protests turned violent. Like you know, I'm from Chicago and I'll never forget that when I would drive in different places in Chicago, my father would always say to me, Suze, this is where the Haymarket riot happened. He never told me what it was, other than many Chicago policemen and workers were killed here. He never told me why. So later on, as I got older, I looked it up and it was during this period that included this Haymarket riot. That people were killed because they were protesting that this is what they wanted, they needed to be protected. So as time went on around September 5th today in 1882, which is why I wanted to talk about this because that is the date today, just a few years later. There were 10,000 workers, and they actually for the first time, took unpaid time off to March from City Hall to Union Square in New York. And that was them holding the first Labor Day parade in U. S. History. So, this is where this idea of a working man's holiday that's celebrated on the first Monday in September, that's where it came from. And that idea caught on in other industrial centers across the country and then many states passed legislation recognizing it. Do you know that Congress did not legalize this holiday, however, until 12 years later. So, it really was this incredible moment in time where American labor brought worker’s rights squarely into the public view, and it was on May 11th and you should all know this history. It's on May 11th in 1894 where employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago, they went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. So, there were people back then that said, you can't do this to me, you can't fire our union representatives, you can't suppress us. They fought for their rights, which is why so many of us today do have rights. There's still many of us that do not, but that is where this came from. So, what's interesting Is that it was, you know, on June 26th when the American railroad called for a boycott of all pullman railroad cars and they crippled railroad traffic nationwide. And to break the pullman strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago and they unleashed this wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. I find that so sad I can't even tell you. What we're celebrating today, people gave up their lives for us celebrating today and it was in the wake of this massive unrest and riots and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers that congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the district of Columbia and the territories. Now on June 28th, 1894, that is when President Grover Cleveland signed it into law. That's what we're celebrating today. Are you even thinking about that? Are you even understanding where our freedom really came from? So, I don't really want to talk much more about anything other than that. I want tomorrow for every single one of us to just take a few moments out of our day and say a prayer, and give thanks, and show gratitude towards those all the way back in the 1800s, who really gave a voice to workers who were oppressed. And it's because of them that we celebrate today. That's all I want. I just want you to think about those in the past and how the past has created when you think about it, a really great present for all of us right here and right now, Happy Labor Day everyone, see you on Thursday.


Remember, if you want a chance to be on NBC’s Today with Hoda and Jenna on September 17, 2021 go here: https://www.today.com/money/can-you-can-afford-your-next-special-purchase-t219808 


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