The History Files
On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed into law an act that made Labor Day a legal, federal holiday. Why? What’s the story behind it?
During the 1800’s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the US, the average American worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week to eke out a basic living. Kids as young as 5 worked in mills, mines and factories across the country, earing a fraction of what the adults were making, yet still, working to help support their family.
Conditions for these work places were unsafe, there was no fresh air, sanitary facilities or even breaks allowed. As manufacturing replaced agriculture, the labor unions increased, seeking to provide better conditions for the American worker.
Strikes were organized, rallies and protests promoted and the workers stirred to speak up for better hours, waged and conditions.
Riots broke out in various places, such as the Haymarket Riot of 1886, in Chicago, where several police officers and workers were killed. (Some things never change in Chicago)
Or the protest of 10,000 workers in NY who marched for their rights.
But it was on May 11, 19894, that the Pullman Palace Car strike changed things. After the American Railroad Union called for a boycott of this RR, (June 26) traffic was crippled nationwide and riots broke out. Federal troops were dispatched and there were more than a dozen deaths.
On June 28, 1894, President Cleveland signed the act of having a “working holiday” into law. It has since been called Labor Day.
None of us can appreciate the unbelievable sacrifices, long hours, unhealthful, and even brutal conditions of these early workers. There was no such thing as working 9-5, with required 15 minute breaks, PTO, benefits, and a break room with food and drink.
Today, we have the US Department of Labor, which was formed on March 3, 1913 and (grudgingly) signed off by President William Taft to protect our rights and privilidges as an American worker or employer. Formed to help workers, job seekers and retirees by creating standards for occupational safety, wage, hours and benefits, we all have benefitted from it’s oversight.
But it wasn’t always so. Like most things we enjoy today, someone else, before us, paved the way for us. They have paid a price and sacrificed. They lived a harder life and we have learned and grown and improved from their experiences.
So, the first Monday of September, we celebrate Labor Day. A day when we remember the American worker and their progress, advancement and hard work. We take “a working holiday” and say good bye to summer as we may BBQ, and enjoy the privilege of working in America.
Cheers to working America.
Sunday Sermon 9.4.21
The fact that you are reading this right now is super exciting, because God has something to say to you. Yes, YOU, and YES he does.
He is calling to your heart, speaking to your spirit and inviting you to come closer to Him. Step closer, lean in towards Him with total confidence and peace that He will not reject you. You will receive total acceptance from Him.
This is the verse for you to consider –
” Move your heart closer and closer to God, and He will come even closer to you.”James 4:8 TPT
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”James 4:8 NIV
Reverberating through my spirit is His deep longing for you and me to come closer to Him. Closer than we have ever been. Lean in to Him and not away from Him. Bring our heart closer and closer to His heart. There is a strong yearning that He has to be close to you, to share with you, hear from you and love on you. There is no shame, judgment or anger – He just wants to be your Heavenly Father, in a perfectly loving relationship.
Whatever thoughts or emotions you have that war against His invitation to be close to you are simply lies!
There is no act of comssion or omission that His love for you cannot forgive and remove. There is no need for shame, guilt, or humiliation before Him, He despised it and conquered it on the cross of Calvary for me and you.
He will not reject or expose you if you come near to Him.
We all carry our sin and shame and yet He conquered it and removed that barrier when the veil of the temple was torn at His death. He destroyed that shameful separation forever.
At first, we come near to Him asking Him to forgive us of our sins, for Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross. When we do, He, the Father, forgives us and washes us clean of our sin. In Him now, we are a new creature. The old is gone. We have taken the first step in coming near, bringing our heart before Him and He has come near to us. This is the greatest experience that any human can experience on earth!
But that is not the end of coming near to Him. Not at all.
From there, we each must learn to not just come near to Him, but stay near to Him. Remember, we move closer and closer to Him.
John, the disciple is called “The Beloved”. Why? It is said, because he loved Jesus the most – he laid his head on Jesus’ chest. (at the Last Supper) John, truly leaned in to Jesus. John couldn’t really get much closer to Jesus. He was actually touching the Savior, leaning into His chest. Hearing His heart. Feeling His breath.
I hope this isn’t odd to you or misinterpreted. But John is showing us what it truly means to “Come near to me”.
David, in the Psalms, says this –
“There is a secret place reserved for the lovers of God, where they sit near Him and receive the revelation-secrets of His promises.”Psalm 25:14
I wanna sit in that secret place with Jesus, where He and I talk and share, where I feel His heart and experience the power of His breath. Gosh, could it be that He would reveal to me “revelation-secrets”??? David experienced this, this place, this intimacy with Jesus. This close place.
David’s son, Solomon, says this,
“… every tender lover finds friendship with God and will hear His intimate secrets.”Proverbs 3:32 TPT
Friend, God is tenderly and relentlessly calling you to “Come Near” to Him.
Wherever you find your relationship with God today, He is calling you closer. He is calling you to “Come closer and closer”, closer than you have ever been. Lean in to Him. Come near to Him.
We have an open invitation. In my view, we would be foolish to refuse it.
Go with God,