Posted on

History Of Labor Day

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewoood NJ, Observed on the first Monday in September, Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, parades and athletic events.

Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

Continue reading History Of Labor Day
Posted on

The Real Maguire – Who Actually Invented Labor Day?

he staff of the Ridgewood blog

While most sources, even the 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.

According to legend, Peter McGuire stood before the New York Central Labor Union on May 12, 1882, to suggest the idea of setting aside one day a year to honor labor. McGuire believed that Labor Day should “be celebrated by a street parade which would publicly show the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations.”

Peter McGuire was a young, though well-respected, union leader. A child of immigrants, he quit school at an early age to go to work. In 1881, he founded the United Brotherhood of Carpenters, which would become the largest trade union of the time. Later, McGuire would join with his friend, Samuel Gompers, to found the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Through the AFL and the Carpenters, McGuire led the great strikes of 1886 and 1890, which would eventually result in the adoption of the eight-hour workday on the nation’s agenda.

Recently, however, evidence uncovered at the New Jersey Historical Society in Newark reveals that another respected union figure of the day, Matthew Maguire, may quite possibly be the man behind the creation of Labor Day.

In the 1870s, Matthew Maguire led several strikes, most of which were intended to force the plight of manufacturing workers and their long hours into the public consciousness. By 1882, Maguire had become the secretary of and a leading figure in the Central Labor Union of New York.

According to the New Jersey Historical Society, after President Cleveland signed into law the creation of a national Labor Day, The Paterson (N.J.) Morning Call published an opinion piece entitled, “Honor to Whom Honor is Due,” which stated that “the souvenir pen should go to Alderman Matthew Maguire of this city, who is the undisputed author of Labor Day as a holiday.” This editorial also referred to Maguire as the “Father of the Labor Day holiday.”

So why has Matthew Maguire been overlooked as the “Father of Labor Day”?

According to The First Labor Day Parade, by Ted Watts, 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 did not want Labor Day to become associated with the sort of “radical” politics of Matthew Maguire, so in a 1897 interview, Gompers’ close friend Peter J. McGuire was assigned the credit for the origination of Labor Day.

Continue reading The Real Maguire – Who Actually Invented Labor Day?
Posted on

Baronfest,Birthday Celebrations for Baron Von Steuben

Baronfest, a day of music, beer, and food at Historic New Bridge Landing Sept 21, 2019, Saturday, 1-5 pm

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

New bridge landing NJ, Celebrate Revolutionary War hero Major-General Baron von Steuben’s birthday and greet the Baron in person! Enjoy the finest that regional craft breweries Brix City Brewing, Alementary Brewing and Hackensack Brewing have to offer together with delicious food in a historic village. Relax to music by Hudson Woodpile Band and thrill to Mott’s Artillery demonstrations in The Meadow. Tour three 18th century houses, barn and outkitchen, and stroll the grounds of Historic New Bridge Landing in River Edge where Washington, Lafayette, Hamilton, and, of course, the Baron once walked.

Continue reading Baronfest,Birthday Celebrations for Baron Von Steuben
Posted on

Wine and Spirits!

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ho-Ho-Kus Nj, Join Medium, Author and Wine Educator Craig McManus for a thrilling trip into the world of wine and ghosts this Friday the 13th!

Craig spent 30 years in the wine business, tasting, swirling traveling and teaching before he decided to pursue his dream of working full time as a medium and writer.

Continue reading Wine and Spirits!
Posted on

The 240th Anniversary of the Raid on Paulus Hook

from the Bergen County Historical Society

New Bridge Landing NJ, All roads lead to New Bridge and in the 18th century this was often the case! Due to its proximity in NJ to NYC and sitting at a strategic crossing on the banks of the Hackensack River, New Bridge Landing would be an active piquet post, HQ for George Washington, an information gathering post and the site of eleven skirmishes and engagements during the American Revolution.

Continue reading The 240th Anniversary of the Raid on Paulus Hook
Posted on

Gottheimer Highlights North Jersey’s Role in Revolutionary Era and Calls for Increased Promotion of Historic Sites to Boost Tourism


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

HO-HO-KUS NJ, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer, in celebration of Independence Day this week, stood within the Crossroads of the American Revolution to highlight New Jersey’s rich history and the importance of investing in developing North Jersey’s tourism economy and in preserving historical sites.

Gottheimer, joined by local historic preservation leaders and reenactors, visited the Hermitage Museum today, the home of Theodosia Bartow Prevost, which hosted revolutionaries including Alexander Hamilton, the Marquis de Lafayette, and New Jersey’s own Aaron Burr. George Washington also used the home as a headquarters.

Continue reading Gottheimer Highlights North Jersey’s Role in Revolutionary Era and Calls for Increased Promotion of Historic Sites to Boost Tourism
Posted on

Ridgewood, NJ is celebrating its 125th anniversary!

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, This year Ridgewood, NJ is celebrating its 125th anniversary! To commemorate the occasion, the Village of Ridgewood is holding a series of events to highlight various moments from the past, and to look forward to our future. On this page we will be posting your favorite memories and experiences. Watch this space for announcements, trivia, and stories about the village’s past, present, and future.

Continue reading Ridgewood, NJ is celebrating its 125th anniversary!
Posted on

July 2nd Lantern Tour Hosted by Bergen County Historical Society

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

New Bridge Landing ,Get your Fourth of July started off right by joining us for a Lantern Tour on the grounds where our Country’s independence was forged.

Historian and BCHS President Jim Smith leads a lantern tour of Historic New Bridge Landing

Meet at the Campbell-Christie House.
Historic New Bridge Landing, 1201 Main Street, River Edge. Admission: $12 adults, $7 students, BCHS members free. Tuesday, July 2, 2019 at 7 pm.