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.
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!