Labor Leader Was A Carpenter

Did you know that the father of Labor Day, Peter J. McGuire, was a carpenter?   McGuire was politically active early in his career. As he traveled around the country advocating for the worker and championing the eight hour work day, he worked as a carpenter. After settling in St. Louis he founded the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners in 1881 and he was a leading figure of the American Federation of Labor for 30 years.


A carpenter measuring wood from C. C. Long Home Geography for Primary Grades (New York: American Book Company, 1894) 22

I couldn’t find a lot of information about McGuire’s life as a carpenter. I don’t know if he built houses or furniture or other objects. So who knows – you could be reading this post in house, or office building, or chair that McGuire built in late 1800s.  Regardless of what he built with his hands, I think we can all be pretty thankful for what he built with his politics.  I hope everyone is enjoying time away from work or school today!

Happy Labor Day!


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