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NO. R-115. JOINT RESOLUTION COMMEMORATING THE CENTENNIAL ANNIVERSARY OF VERMONT'S FIRST LABOR DAY OBSERVANCE.

(J.R.S. 50)

Offered by: Senator Doyle of Washington County, Senator Cummings of Washington County, Senator Illuzzi of Essex-Orleans County and Senator Spaulding of Washington County.

Whereas, in the decades following the Civil War, millions of Americans labored and toiled in physically demanding jobs for barely subsistence compensation, and

Whereas, on September 5, 1882, the New York Central Labor Union, inspired by the leadership of Peter J. McGuire, the founder of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, staged the first unofficial celebration in honor of America's laborers, and

Whereas, these commemorative ceremonies became increasingly popular, and in 1894 the United States Congress adopted legislation, designating the first Monday in September as a new federal holiday to be called Labor Day, and

Whereas, in recognition of the significant contribution that thousands of men and women made by their daily labors in such locations as the mills of Springfield and Winooski and the quarries of Barre Town, Representative George T. Swasey of Barre introduced legislation that the General Assembly enacted as No. 51 of the laws of 1898, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day, and

Whereas, the first Labor Day in Vermont was commemorated enthusiastically at Cherryville Park in Barre City on September 4, 1899 where orations were delivered by Representative Swasey, Barre City Mayor John W. Gordon and James Duncan of Baltimore, Maryland, the General Secretary and Treasurer of the Granite Cutters National Union, and many festivities were held, including games, concerts and dancing, and

Whereas, while the conditions and compensation provided to the workforce have vastly improved over the last century, laboring Vermonters' dedicated efforts are still not fully appreciated, and

Whereas, Labor Day celebrations afford Vermonters the opportunity to salute the working men and women of Vermont for their outstanding achievements, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly is honored to recognize the working men and women of Vermont on the centennial anniversary of Vermont's first Labor Day celebration, and be it further

Resolved: That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to the Vermont chapter of the AFL-CIO and to the Aldrich Public Library in Barre City.