The History of Labor Day – and Why It Matters for Our Future

Did you know that the history of Labor Day is both socialist and racist? People wanted labor unions in the 1800s because factory working conditions were horrifying, and socialists exploited their pain for an agenda, something that we now commemorate each September. On radio Tuesday, Glenn explored the history of the holiday and its implications for our future.

“They want to take the downtrodden, and they want to turn them into revolutionaries who will level the playing field by the redistribution of wealth,” Glenn said. “It’s the same story that’s happening today was happening back in the 1800s.”

Marxists got a “foot in the door” by taking advantage of the terrible working conditions of the time. Peter McGuire, an influential advocate for unions who is known as the “father” of Labor Day, selected Sept. 5 as the date for the first labor parade since it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.

Even though they were pretending to fight for every worker, early labor activists limited their advocacy based on race.

“The labor unions now are using this and saying ‘All laborers matter, all labor lives matter,’” Glenn explained the activism of the time. “Well, except if you’re black or you’re Asian or you’re Irish; then we don’t accept you.”

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: On the president's plate now: Hurricane Harvey. $8 million he needs from Congress. He's got to get Congress to move the debt limit. The investigations are continuing on Russia. He now has Korea. He has -- another thing he's dealing with: Keith Schiller, his former bodyguard, he apparently is crushed by the departure of this man who has been by his side forever. He's got a lot going on his plate. And then we have Antifa. Do we have an update on Antifa, what happened this weekend?

STU: Well, the LA -- California is now trying to classify them as a street gang, which is -- the Berkeley mayor said Antifa is no different than a street gang. However, I totally disagree with that. It's much, much worse than a street gang, but, yes, it's similar.

GLENN: Have you noticed though that they're starting to turn? Everybody is starting to turn on Antifa, which is a really good thing. Well, not everybody is starting to turn. They're starting -- they're slowly coming to this.

STU: When you've lost Nancy Pelosi though, that is a big moment in your life.

GLENN: You've lost a lot.

Let me share something with you that yesterday we celebrated Labor Day. And do we even know what we were really even celebrating? Do we even know this came from Canada? It's Marxist. It was a union strike. Riots. Death.

And the very first time. We've heard this in every movie. You know, I've watched Air Force One. "Mr. President, we cannot negotiate with terrorists."

Do you realize that this, that Labor Day is our negotiation with terrorists? That's the only reason why we have this.

In the late 1800s, Americans started to gravitate toward labor unions. And we did it because everything in factories were horrible. The factories and the mines, all of the things that were fueling the second industrial revolution. Unions were needed because people were working 12-hour, 15-hour workdays, seven-day workweeks. There was no compensation if you were hurt on the job. You had low wages. No benefits. Inadequate breaks. They were filthy, dangerous workspaces. You want to talk about a safe space -- I don't think there was any.

And the problem was, is America went through a change kind of exactly the way it's going through right now, to where it's leaving a whole group of people behind because we haven't figured it out yet. So in the late 1800s, the Industrial Revolution was leaving a whole group of people behind. And this is where Marxism, Marxist, socialist, the Antifas of the world, this is their sweet spot, because there's a sense of basic unfairness.

And it's down at the bottom. And that is the point that Marxists like to make. Get the bottom to rise up.

They want to take the downtrodden. And they want to turn them into revolutionaries, who will level the playing field by the redistribution of wealth. It's the same story that was -- that's happening today, was happening back in the 1800s. So the factory working conditions, and the fact that some people were making a lot of money, and some people were working seven days a week and they didn't have anything, gave Marxists a foot in the door.

And this is where a guy who most Americans have never even heard of, Paul -- no, Peter J. McGuire. This is where he comes in. He was living in New York City. He was an Irish Catholic from New York. He was a devout Marxist. Here is 1874. He cofounds the Social Democratic Working Party of North America. That's the first communist, Marxist political party in the US.

He also founded something that we all know because we still have it today. He was the cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. The AFL. AFL-CIO. This became the most powerful union in the country. And his goal, stated, was to convert and transform America to a socialist nation through labor unions. So this is sweeping the entire West because of the Industrial Revolution. And labor officials up in Toronto, Canada, invite this guy and say, you got to come up. We have this labor festival that you're going to love. And we've been doing this for ten years now. You guys have to do this.

And so McGuire goes up and he loves it. He comes back and he's like, we have to have a parade. Now, imagine, you're a coal miner. And you're like, "You're going to have a, what?"

"We've got to have a parade." So he picks the day of the parade as September 5th. And the reason why is because he felt it fell halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. I didn't even know this part of the story.

So the parade was a hit. Thirty-thousand-plus marchers skipped the work for the day in New York. They listened to speeches. The last thing I'm going to do on my day off is listen to a bunch of speeches about 8-hour workdays and how Marxism is going to heal the world, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And then they have a big parade in New York City. It becomes huge, and it becomes an annual event. And it catches on all around the country, and the labor unions now are using this and saying, "All labor is matter. All labor lives matter." Well, except if you're black or you're Asian or you're Irish, then we don't accept you into the AFL. But other than that, all laborers matter.

Did I forget to tell you the Marxist that started the labor unions -- before you build a statue, we should probably tear it down, because he was a wild racist. Five years go by, Labor Day is now an official holiday in 30 states. But they can't get the United States government to declare it a holiday. Because at that point, we're not declaring holidays as the federal government. States can do whatever you want. It's 1894. And there is a strike done by the AFL that is huge. And it changes the way America looks at September 5th.

It was in Pullman, Illinois. Now, if you've ever heard the name Pullman before, it might be because you know George Pullman. You know Pullman, Illinois. Most likely, you know it because of the Pullman train car. I don't think I could tell you what Pullman train car was, other than it was the best train car made. And I think it was a sleeping car.

Well, who has got the money to stay in those sleeping cars? Oh, my gosh. It's the wealthy people.

So 1894, the economy tanks. And things get really bad. And Pullman, who is this capitalist who actually has a -- from what I understand, has a pretty good relationship with his -- with his people, because he's done kind of what the Cadbury people did. Yeah, the chocolate people over in England. And that is, they saw that Marxism was not the answer. But they also saw that there were problems. And so Cadbury went, and they built themselves a town. And they put doctors in the town. And everybody who worked there could live in the town. Well, Pullman does kind of the same thing, except his heart is not really in it.

So when the economy collapses, he of mind to lay off hundreds of people. And then anybody who remained, he had to lower their wages. But he also was their landlord. And the landlord side of him was like, "I don't being what happened at your job. That doesn't affect me." And so he didn't lower the rent for any of the company houses.

This is what opened the terror for the Marxists to come in. The evil capitalists can't get away with that. They had to shut him down. So the workers went on strike. And all of the sympathetic railroad workers around the country joined in. And then just like it does in Berkeley -- just like it happens every single time: a Marxist, socialist rally turns violent -- turns violent. And rioting sets in. They burn hundreds of these rail cars.

The unrest cripples the railroad industry, shuts down the railroad, shuts down the delivery of the US mail. And one of the worst, Grover Cleveland, gets involved. He's president at the time. And he decides he's going to send in 12,000 troops into Chicago to break the strike.

How does that work out? Just like you would imagine. The troops and strikers, they start to exchange fire. Two strikers are killed.

Now, why doesn't president Cleveland have people on his side? Because there was a problem. People were hungry. People weren't looking at reason anymore. And they were seeing people get rich, while they were being screwed. It's the only reason why the labor unions were necessary. Because there was a need for somebody to stand up.

President Cleveland is -- this is not a good response. And he's now in crisis. And it's also a midterm election year. And the Democrats don't want to lose. So what does Cleveland do?

As he's getting ready to pull the troops out? He holds negotiations, and Congress rams through a bill to make Labor Day a federal holiday. We negotiated with the terrorists. We said, "If you pull out, we'll not only help you with Pullman, but we'll also make Labor Day a national holiday." Of course, we don't negotiate with terrorists. So we're going to wait a whole six days after the strike was broken. Then we'll do it. But those are two -- they're completely unrelated.

The Marxist terrorists had torched the railways. The trains across the country had stopped. And the president delivered his first gift.

What we celebrated yesterday was a Canadian idea, copied in America, by the Marxist founder of the American Socialist Party. And the AFL. It was made a federal holiday by a Congress and president trying just to save face and win votes in an election year. And it was the very first of countless bones that the Democratic Party would throw to labor unions over the next century.

Oh, and, by the way, Peter J. McGuire, the Marxist, racist, anti-immigrant, cofounder of the American Socialist Party, AFL, in 1901, it ended for him the way it usually ends for these guys. Either in a violent death or going to jail. In 1901, he was arrested for embezzling union funds. Stealing from the workers. Because I guess for some people, socialism, eh, it moves too slowly in the redistribution of wealth.

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