Celebrating Our Diverse Community
Celebrating our diverse community includes sharing the stories of how our students, staff and community celebrate and recognize different holidays, months of recognition and awareness, and special cultural events.
If you have stories, photos, recipes, video messages or something that you would like to share, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org to be featured here!
This month we are recognizing...
- January 1
International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3 is a day to help everyone become more compassionate and understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities. The day doesn’t discriminate between mental and physical disabilities, and the spirit of the day is to ensure that all people in the world have equal opportunities for work, play, health, and success. People with disabilities can be and very often are contributing and valued members of society, and today is all about appreciating them.
- HOW TO OBSERVE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES
- WHY INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IS IMPORTANT
- WHAT IS THIS YEAR'S THEME?
Become an advocate for people with disabilities
Look around your community and the places you frequent. If accommodations for people with disabilties are not in place, ask the shop owner, mall manager and/or your elected officials to install them.It’s the law.
Lend a helping hand
Inquire at your local senior center or residence, or of the nurses at an outpatient clinic, if they know of someone who needs assistance. Offer to help. Sometimes just delivering a medication, dropping off the mail, or picking up a few things at the grocery —simple tasks for you—would make the world of difference to someone with a disability.
Show some compassion
When you’re tired, harried and in a rush, you know you can sometimes be irritable. Don’t snap at someone who’s slowing you down,or take your frustrations out on them. They could be a person with a disability. If so, their lives are always like that, while your problems are probably fleeting. Likewise, don’t let any bad humor they exhibit ruin your day. This is when a smile can smooth everything over.
It builds awareness of people with disabilities
People with disabilities sometimes feel invisible in our society. People rush around them in their daily routines, barely noticing them. Today, try to make eye contact and smile and be available to help should they seem to be having difficulties.
We better understand the difficulties people with disabilities have
The treasured parking space right in front of the pharmacy, the sloped curbs at intersections with the textured mats in place so the vision impaired folks can feel the curb end, the buttons to open doors automatically, even elevators on the Subway —are all in place to make a difficult life a little easier for a person with disabilities. Notice these accommodations today, and then notice how few of them there are.
It’s more than a day —it’s the law
The Americans with Disabilities Act was created to define the rights of people with disabilities and the design standards which businesses and municipalities must incorporate to comply with the law. Called the ADA, it is quite explicit in the standards required, and a familiarity with it could be most helpful to anyone in.
- Veterans Day
- Native American Heritage Month
- Indigenous Peoples' Day
- Columbus Day
- Polish-American Heritage Month
- Filipino-American History Month
- Italian-American Heritage Month
- National Hispanic American Heritage Month
- Yom Kippur
- Rosh Hashanah
- Labor Day
Hanukkah is a celebration of the Jewish victory over a tyrant king and a rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem. The Jews fought for freedom and reclaimed their holy temple; in order to rededicate it, they needed to light the menorah, but only had enough oil for one day. Miraculously, the oil burned for eight days. Hanukkah is an eight-day celebration to commemorate the eight-day miracle.
The Jewish Festival of Rededication, also called the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day celebration that falls each year on the Hebrew calendar date of 25 Kislev, which generally falls in December in the Gregorian calendar. (In 2021, Hanukkah is November 28 through December 6.) Hanukkah, also referred to as Chanukah, celebrates the rededication of the second Jewish temple in Jerusalem.
- What are some Hanukkah Traditions?
- Why do we celebrate Hanukkah?
- What is the miracle of Chanukah?
- What are some HANUKKAH ACTIVITIES?
Hanukkah celebrations begin when the sun sets on the 25th of Kislev, which typically occurs from late November through December. Each night as the sun sets, one branch of the Hanukkah menorah is lit by the shamash, making up the ninth and tallest branch on the menorah. Traditionally, candles are lit from right to left, although there is no one correct order in which to place and light the candles.
Prayers accompany each night’s candle lighting. Once the menorah is lit, it is often placed in a door or window that faces the street to share the light with neighbors. Traditional songs follow throughout the evening. Food plays an important part in Hanukkah, which includes those fried in oil to commemorate the miracle, especially ‘latkes’ and ‘sufganiyot.’
Light the menorah
Each night of Hanukkah, use the “shamash” or head candle to light one of the eight candles in the menorah, so by the last night of Hanukkah, all eight candles are burning!
Give some gelt
Gold-foil-wrapped chocolate coins known gelt are traditional Hanukkah treats. The tradition harkens back to the Maccabees producing their own money after defeating the Greeks!
A dreidel is a traditional four-sided spinning toy. Each side has a Hebrew letter on it: “nun" means do nothing; "shin" means you put one in; "he" means you get half of what's in the middle; and "gimel” means you get the whole pot. Play with gelt or with real money for a great time!
America’s Thanksgiving holiday, born in the 1500s, mythologized in 1621, and observed even during the bleakest hours of the Civil War, now stands as one of the nation’s most anticipated and beloved days — celebrated each year on the fourth Thursday in November (November 25, 2021). Perhaps no other nonsectarian holiday has more tradition. Family, friends, food, and football have come to symbolize Thanksgiving — a rare celebratory holiday without an established gift-giving component. Instead, the day urges all of us to be grateful for things we do have.
- What are some Thanksgiving Traditions?
- Why is Thanksgiving on the Fourth Thursday?
- 5 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving
A feast fit for a family
When we think about Thanksgiving food, a few tasty dishes come to mind. Macaroni, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and the most important of all: a beautifully cooked, juicy, and huge turkey! Though these are the traditional dishes eaten at a standard Thanksgiving dinner, there’s definitely room to freestyle. Some switch out turkey for ham, beef, or even salmon! While others may include a side dish specific to their culture.
We often wonder why dinner comes so early on this day in comparison to the rest of the year, but it seems to all come down to convenience. An earlier eating time accommodates guests who are traveling from further away, allows more time for your stomach to digest a huge meal, and lets the more sporty bunch get some exercise through a family game of football, baseball, soccer, or basketball.
Since 1924, New York has been home to the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It’s tied for the second-oldest Thanksgiving parade with America’s Thanksgiving Parade in Detroit. The three-hour parade is held in Manhattan and has been televised nationally by NBC since 1952. Prior to that, it was covered via radio broadcast. The parade airs early in the morning, from 9 A.M. to 12 P.M., and is how many families kick off their Thanksgiving festivities. Marching with the parade are school bands, floats with giant balloons of popular children’s characters, celebrity musicians, actors, and socialites. Broadway performers also take part by singing a popular number from their current running show.
Some families include breaking the turkey’s wishbone as part of their annual tradition. This happens after the meal is complete and the meat from the turkey is cleared from the bone. The wishbone, which is found attached to the breast meat within the turkey’s chest, gets set aside to dry. Once it becomes brittle, two people take ahold of either side of the bone, make a wish, and pull. Whoever breaks off the longer side gets their wish!
Future presidents followed Lincoln’s example of annually declaring the final Thursday in November to be Thanksgiving. But in 1939, President Franklin Roosevelt declared November’s fourth Thursday as Thanksgiving rather than the fifth one. FDR thought an earlier Thanksgiving would give merchants a longer period to sell goods before Christmas — and help bring the country out of the Depression. A 1942 law — making the fourth Thursday a federal holiday — has stood ever since.
Four towns named ‘Turkey’
In the United States, four different towns in Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and Louisiana are named Turkey.
A lot of calories are consumed
The average number of calories consumed during Thanksgiving festivities amounts to 4,500.
You can celebrate Thanksgiving 17th-century style
If you want to experience Thanksgiving like it was back in the 1600s, part of Plymouth, Mass is still more or less the same as it was back then — tickets for celebrating Thanksgiving there are purchased months in advance.
The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
The first Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in the early 1920s didn’t have any giant floats or balloons.
46 million turkeys
Americans prepare an estimated 46 million turkeys for Thanksgiving feasts every year
Veterans Day is a federal holiday to honor all veterans and thank them for their service.
Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11. It’s a holiday honoring men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces, on the anniversary of the end of World War I.
The importance of Veterans Day is to celebrate and honor all of America’s veterans for their bravery, sacrifice, and love for their country.
- What are some Veterans Day Traditions?
- Veterans Day - BY THE NUMBERS
- 5 Facts about Veterans in the United States
Give military-themed gifts
Most veterans cherish their time spent serving their country and one of the best ways to honor that service is to present military-themed gifts like bottle openers (apparently a ‘thing’ among vets,) wooden U.S. flags, or specially-designed pens to the veterans in your life.
Check out Veterans Day restaurant deals
Big-name restaurants are looking out for veterans-turned-foodies with Veterans Day deals on free dinners (Chili’s, Applebee’s, and all California Pizza Kitchens) as well as breakfast specials (Golden Corral restaurants from 5–9 A.M.).
Ship some cookies overseas
Remember your active service military friends and veterans’ organizations overseas with a goodie bag of cookies by Operation Cookies, a company owned and operated by veterans sending delicious, home-baked cookies to homesick military personnel stationed anywhere in the world.
19.5 million – the approximate number of veterans in the United States.
9 million – the number of veterans over the age of 65.
5.06 million – the number of veterans receiving disability compensation.
2 million – the number of female veterans of those receiving disability compensation.
500k – the number of World War II veterans still living in the United States.
1.56 million – the number of veterans in California, the highest number in the country.
1.46 million – the number of veterans in Texas, the second-highest number in the country.
11% – the percentage of veterans who experience homelessness.
50% – the percentage of veterans experiencing homelessness who also live with a mental illness like PTSD.
Many have served in at least one war
As of 2018, 18.2 million veterans who are still alive served in at least one war.
9% of all veterans in the U.S. are women.
As of 2019, the states with the highest percentage of veterans were Alaska, Wyoming, and Virginia.
World War II veterans
325,000 out of 16 million Americans who participated in World War II, were still alive in 2020.
The Korean War
Two million veterans served during the Korean War.
In the Hindu culture, one of the most significant holidays is Diwali, or the Festival of Lights. It's a five-day celebration that includes good food, fireworks, colored sand, and special candles and lamps.
Diwali, or Dipawali, is India's biggest and most important holiday of the year. The festival gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (deepa) that Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects from spiritual darkness. This festival is as important to Hindus as the Christmas holiday is to Christians.
Over the centuries, Diwali has become a national festival that's also enjoyed by non-Hindu communities. For instance, in Jainism, Diwali marks the nirvana, or spiritual awakening, of Lord Mahavira on October 15, 527 B.C.; in Sikhism, it honors the day that Guru Hargobind Ji, the Sixth Sikh Guru, was freed from imprisonment. Buddhists in India celebrate Diwali as well.
Diwali is celebrated differently depending on what part of India your family is from. Hindus interpret the Diwali story based upon where they live. But there's one common theme no matter where people celebrate: the victory of good over evil.
In northern India, they celebrate the story of King Rama's return to Ayodhya after he defeated Ravana by lighting rows of clay lamps.
Southern India celebrates it as the day that Lord Krishna defeated the demon Narakasura.
In western India the festival marks the day that Lord Vishnu, the Preserver (one of the main gods of the Hindu trinity) sent the demon King Bali to rule the nether world.
Diwali is celebrated over five days, with the fourth day being the most signficant:
DAY ONE: People clean their homes and shop for gold or kitchen utensils to help bring good fortune.
DAY TWO: People decorate their homes with clay lamps and create design patterns called rangoli on the floor using colored powders or sand.
DAY THREE: On the main day of the festival, families gather together for Lakshmi puja, a prayer to Goddess Lakshmi, followed by mouth-watering feasts and firework festivities.
DAY FOUR: This is the first day of the new year, when friends and relatives visit with gifts and best wishes for the season.
DAY FIVE: Brothers visit their married sisters, who welcome them with love and a lavish meal.
Diwali Snack Recipes
Basic Recipes to Make Diwali Sweets
DID YOU KNOW:
The true meaning of Diwali is to spread the light of happiness, prosperity and wellness.
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Every year on November 1, Native American Heritage Month is celebrated to honor the remarkable Native Americans who have contributed a lot to improve the character of the nation. This month is also referred to as the American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. November is the time to rejoice in diverse and rich cultures, histories, and traditions and to appreciate the great contributions of the Native Americans. This month allows us to spread awareness about tribes or to educate people about the various challenges faced by the Native Americans in the past and today. Throughout this month, we commit to keep on supporting the remaining Native American tribes and let the world know about their sacrifices.
- Why do we celebrate Native American Heritage Month?
- WHY NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH IS IMPORTANT
- How do you honor Native American Ancestors?
- What are the 10 Largest Native American Tribes?
- HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
"November is Native American Heritage Month, or as it is commonly referred to, American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month. The month is a time to celebrate rich and diverse cultures, traditions, and histories and to acknowledge the important contributions of Native people,” according to the National Congress of American Indians.
They have a rich history
The Native Americans have been living in America for a very long time. They were not a single nation but included a variety of cultures, nations, and languages. Some people believe that they have been living on the sub-continent for over 30,000 years.
Native Americans have contributed a lot
There are many contributions made by the Native Americans such as the discovery of edible plants, which are widely eaten by people around the world. They were the first people to raise turkeys, guinea pigs, and honeybees.
They established the government system
The government of Native Americans serves as the model of federated representative democracy. The government system of the U.S. is based on the system in which the power is distributed amongst the central authority and smaller political units.
“Plant Native Flowers; Whether you plant them in your own yard or a community garden, planting plants that are native to the area is a great way to honor Native American Heritage Month and support Mother Nature at the same time. A little research will turn up lots of flowers, trees, and shrubs perfect for this,” says Red Tricycle.
Learn about the Native Americans
Native American Heritage Month is an excellent way to learn about the history of American Indians. You can teach your children about the country’s past and how Native Americans have helped America.
You can visit or take your kids to a museum or virtually visit it to show them artifacts and exhibits of the Native Americans’ jewelry, customs, and culture.
Travel virtually to see other cultures
There are many cultural videos that you can watch on native culture like “Living Earth Festival”. If you or your kids are interested in learning about the Native American culture find a documentary or movie about it and watch it.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day (October 11, 2021) is celebrated on the second Monday of October, to honor the cultures and histories of the Native American people.
Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrates the people who first called this land home. On Indigenous Peoples’ Day, we remember the struggles and tragedies they endured and honor their contributions to the shared story of America.
Columbus Day (October 11, 2021) - Columbus Day celebrates Christopher Columbus's sighting of America on October 12, 1492. As the first Italian explorer to arrive, his spirit of exploration paved the path for many Italians to follow. More than 500 years later, we continue to celebrate the courage and contributions of Italian Americans throughout the generations.
- COLUMBUS DAY & ITALIAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE
- How Columbus Day Became a Holiday
- Controversy Over Columbus Day
Christopher Columbus was an an Italian-born explorer and the first to explore the Americas.
Italian-American Heritage Month occurs in October to overlap with the federal holiday of Columbus Day, which is celebrated on the second Monday of each October.
For many, the holiday is a way of both honoring Columbus’ achievements and celebrating Italian-American heritage. In some parts of the United States, Columbus Day has evolved into a celebration of Italian-American heritage. Local groups host parades and street fairs featuring colorful costumes, music and Italian food.
The largest parade occurs on Columbus Day in New York City and has over 35,000 marchers!
Columbus Day was unofficially celebrated in a number of cities and states as early as the 18th century, but did not become a federal holiday until 1937.
Some key dates include:
The first Columbus Day celebration took place in 1792, when New York’s Columbian Order—better known as Tammany Hall—held an event to commemorate the historic landing’s 300th anniversary.
In 1892, President Benjamin Harrison issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to mark the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage with patriotic festivities.
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Columbus Day a national holiday.
Polish-American Heritage Month (October 2021) - In October, we celebrate Polish American Heritage Month in the United States. Our Nation owes an immeasurable debt of gratitude to the millions of freedom-loving Poles who have come to our shores to build a new land. Polish Americans can be justly proud of the vital contributions people of Polish descent have made to our Nation in the arts, the sciences, religion, scholarship, and every area of endeavor.
From The American Presidency Project, Proclamation 5548—Polish American Heritage Month, 1986
- WHY POLISH-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH IS IMPORTANT?
- FEATURED FOOD: PIEROGI
- Why is Polish-American Heritage Month celebrated in October?
- It celebrates diversity: Polish American Heritage Month is the perfect opportunity to celebrate the heritage and culture of your ancestors. If you're not Polish American, that's okay, too. Look at the month of October as your chance to enrich your life by exposing yourself to a new culture.
- It reminds us of our roots: This event is a great reminder of the positive impact Polish Americans had on our country back in the day, as well as the impact they continue to have today.
- It gets you in touch with your past: If you're not part of a large Polish American community, then Polish American Heritage Month is the perfect time for you to connect with those who have a similar history. Whether you reach out to local clubs, attend a Polish American event, or try to learn Polish, there are plenty of opportunities out there.
We celebrate Polish American Heritage Month in October, but it wasn’t always that way. Congress first deemed August as Polish American Heritage Month in 1981. Later, it moved to October to commemorate the first Polish settlers — as well as the deaths of General Kazimierz Pułaski and Tadeusz Kościuszko (military leaders who fought in the American Revolution).
Filipino-American History Month (October 2021) - Every October is National Filipino American History Month which is all about celebrating the history, heritage, culture and achievements of Filipino Americans.
- Why is Filipino-American History Month Celebrated in October
- What is the theme of Filipino American History Month?
The celebration of Filipino American History Month in October each year is significant. It commemorates the first recorded presence of Filipinos in the continental United States.
This occurred on October 18, 1587, when “Luzones Indios” came ashore from the Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza and landed at what is now Morro Bay, California.
Each year, Filipino American History Month is recognized with a special theme. The 2021 theme is “50 Years Since the First Young Filipino People's Far West Convention.”
The Far West Conventions are viewed by many as the start of the Filipino American Movement and the birth of Filipino American identity.
Italian-American Heritage Month (October 2021) - Italian American Heritage Month is celebrated every year to honor and recognize the centuries of achievements, successes, and valuable contributions of Italian immigrants and Italian Americans.
Each year Italians around the country take time to celebrate their heritage, history, and culture with festivals and parades.
- History of Italian-American Heritage Month
- 5 WAYS ITALIANS CHANGED AMERICAN HISTORY
- 3 REASONS WHY ITALIAN-AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH IS IMPORTANT
America’s name is Italian inspired: Amerigo Vespucci, who explored the east coast of South America between 1499 and 1502, is the source of the name "America."
An Italian explorer discovered the New World: Christopher Columbus landed on various Caribbean islands that are now the Bahamas as well as the island later called Hispaniola.
An Italian first mapped the East coast: Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano was the first European to map the Atlantic coast of today's United States.
The Declaration of Independence has Italian inspiration: Filippo Mazzei, a physician and promoter of liberty, was a close friend and confidant of Thomas Jefferson. He published a pamphlet containing the phrase "All men are by nature equally free and independent."
The pope helped Italian immigrants: To assist immigrants in the U.S., Pope Leo XIII dispatched a contingent of priests and nuns. Among them was Sister Francesca Cabrini, who founded schools, hospitals, and orphanages.
The Italian food phenomenon: Big plates of spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, and chicken parmigiana are not common in Italy, but they reflect the unique Italian-American culture immigrants created.
Italian-American star power: Whether it’s the music of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, or the films of Martin Scorsese and Sofia Coppola, Italian-Americans have powerfully impacted the entertainment industry in America.
Italy's favorite pasta sauce is everywhere: Ragu alla Bolognese, also known simply as Bolognese, is recognized as the national dish of Italy, and it enjoys worldwide popularity.
National Hispanic Heritage Month is observed annually from September 15 to October 15. It is a time to appreciate and celebrate the colorful cultures, rich histories, and diversity of the American Latino community. Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries.
Learn more about Hispanic Heritage Month below or by visiting: https://www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/
- What is Hispanic Heritage Month & Why is it Celebrated?
- What is the difference between Hispanic and Latino?
- Why does Hispanic Heritage Month start mid-month?
- What are some traditions of Hispanic Heritage Month?
Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the history and countless contributions that Latinos have made to the nation over the years.
Hispanic Heritage Month is important for many reasons, including the following...
Strong impact on America: Hispanic influences are tightly woven into the fabric of American life — think music, food, art, cinema, politics, literature, and so much more.
Around one-fifth of the U.S. population is Hispanic: The state with the largest Hispanic and Latino population overall is California with over 14 million.
Our kids benefit from it: While Hispanic children learn about their roots this month, all kids can benefit from learning about Spanish history and culture.
National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the culture and contributions of both Latino and Hispanic Americans. The history and accomplishments of these groups in the shaping of the country are celebrated.
The month is celebrated in a plethora of ways. As several other celebratory holidays fall during this month — such as the independence days of several Latin American countries — concerts, parades, food fairs, and more are organized throughout. Educational events like art exhibitions take place as well, highlighting important Latino heroes in history.
The U.S. government honors the immeasurable contributions of Hispanic Americans to our economy, culture, and society.
Otherwise known as the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is considered the holiest day in Judaism. The holiday lasts approximately 25 hours and is typically observed with fasting and prayer in alignment with the themes of atonement and repentance.
- What is the main purpose of Yom Kippur?
- What does Yom Kippur celebrate?
- What are the rules of Yom Kippur?
- Why is Yom Kippur important?
(1) Encourages intense self-reflection
It's easy to forget to set aside time to focus on personal growth, but Yom Kippur ensures that you take the day to committing to developing a better you.
(2) Brings family and friends closer
In considering how our actions affect those closest to us, those bonds are made tighter in the promise of better treatment.
(3) Helps us disconnect
Whether it's work, smartphones, or shopping, it's easy to let what surrounds us consume our every day. It's important to take a step back and take a break from our indulgences every now and then.
Rosh Hashanah, literally translating to ‘head of the year’, is the Jewish New Year, starting on the first day of Tishrei — the Jewish calendar’s first month.
DID YOU KNOW?
As of 2021, the two-day celebration marks the
start of the year 5782 on the Jewish calendar.
- What is Rosh Hashanah & How is it Celebrated?
- What do you eat on Rosh Hashanah?
- Is it Okay to Say "Happy Rosh Hashanah"?
- Why Rosh Hashanah is Important
(1) A new beginning: As the first of the Jewish High Holy Days, Rosh Hashanah is viewed as an opportunity to reset and establish the tone for the next year. During this time, people are reminded to think about their past years' experiences, practice penitence, settle any debts they may have accrued, and ask for forgiveness.
(2) A father's sacrifice: On Rosh Hashanah, it is a custom for a shofar (ram's horn) to be blown like a trumpet. This gesture takes place in synagogue— where most of Rosh Hashanah is spent — and reminds people of the blessed event in which God allowed Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead of his son Isaac.
(3) Reflection: Rosh Hashanah's a time to begin self-reflection, repent for their past wrongdoings, practice righteousness, and set new goals.
Do you get weekends off work? Lunch breaks? Paid vacation? An eight-hour workday? Social security? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, you can thank labor unions and the U.S. labor movement for it. Years of hard-fought battles (and the ensuing legislation they inspired) resulted in many of the most basic benefits we enjoy at our jobs today. On the first Monday in September, we take the day off to celebrate Labor Day and reflect on the American worker’s contributions to our country.
- What does Labor Day really mean?
- Who Invented Labor Day?
- What is the Difference between Labor Day and May Day (May 1) ?
It’s more confusing than you might think. The Labor Department explains it this way:
While most sources, including the U.S. Department of Labor, credit Peter McGuire with the origination of Labor Day, recent evidence suggests that the true father of Labor Day may, in fact, be another famous union leader of the 19th century, Matthew Maguire.
Maguire held some political beliefs that were considered fairly radical for the day and also for Samuel Gompers and his American Federation of Labor. Allegedly, Gompers, who co-founded the AFL along with his friend McGuire, did not want Labor Day to become associated with the sort of “radical” politics of Matthew Maguire. So in an 1897 interview, Gompers’ close friend Peter J. McGuire was assigned the credit for the origination of Labor Day.
May 1 (or May Day) is a more radicalized version of Labor Day in many countries. The date recalls Chicago’s Haymarket affair in 1886. American workers, tired of 18-hour days, staged a protest. Police eventually fired on the workers — killing eight. The following night, May 4, another rally turned violent when someone threw a bomb at police officers. An estimated 11 people died and scores more were injured. Communist and socialist political parties eventually chose May 1 as the date to honor the dead and injured workers.
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