History of Labor Day

Labor Day, its parades and picnics, has become a marker for the end of summer vacation. Introduce kids to the key people and events involved in the creation of this national holiday with a video that provides a brief overview of the early days of labor unionization.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Ask high schoolers to research the reasons for the increase and then the decrease in the power of unions
Classroom Considerations
  • The history of Labor Day video, suitable for elementary and middle schoolers, avoids the violent aspects of the fight for labor rights
  • The attached videos about the Homestead and coal miners strikes assume viewers have considerable background knowledge of these events
  • Links are also provided to short videos about Andrew Carnegie and the Homestead Strike, and J.P. Morgan and the coal miners strike of 1902
  • The lack of detail in the videos make them best suited as introductions that would encourage viewers to research labor struggles in greater depth