Former presidential candidate Al Gore speaks with Philadelphia construction workers during his Labor Day campaign.

Labor Day was born out of struggle from the very beginning. Railroad workers in Pullman, Illinois, distraught over wage cuts and lay-offs in the 1893 depression, went on strike, boycotted Pullman railroad cars and eventually rioted. President Cleveland was immediately under pressure from railroad executives and declared the strike an illegal act. Twelve-thousand troops were deployed to break the strike and two men lost their lives in the clash. Six days later, the legislation to make Labor Day an official holiday arrived for Cleveland's signature. Cleveland signed, thinking of 1894 election year. The conciliatory gesture was brushed aside - laborers still resented Cleveland's actions and the Democratic party abandoned the president for William Jennings Bryan as their next candidate.<br>
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Credit: NewsHour with Jim Lehrer/PBS
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( Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images )

Labor Day was born out of struggle from the very beginning. Railroad workers in Pullman, Illinois, distraught over wage cuts and lay-offs in the 1893 depression, went on strike, boycotted Pullman railroad cars and eventually rioted. President Cleveland was immediately under pressure from railroad executives and declared the strike an illegal act. Twelve-thousand troops were deployed to break the strike and two men lost their lives in the clash. Six days later, the legislation to make Labor Day an official holiday arrived for Cleveland's signature. Cleveland signed, thinking of 1894 election year. The conciliatory gesture was brushed aside - laborers still resented Cleveland's actions and the Democratic party abandoned the president for William Jennings Bryan as their next candidate.

Credit: NewsHour with Jim Lehrer/PBS

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