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A Museum of History and Art in historic Lipscomb, Texas
Map 13310 Highway 305 · P.O. Box 5
Lipscomb, Texas 79056
806-852-2123
staff@wolfcreekheritagemuseum.org
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August 29, 2010

WOLF CREEK HERITAGE MUSEUM NOTES
by Virginia Scott

MUSEUM HAPPENINGS

A split week with the last of the month and the first of the month both occurring in the same week. The confuses me for the whole month with which week is which day during the month when tasks and meetings occur on the first or third week of the month. So be warned that if I use the wrong dates this month.

This Wednesday was our stamp cancelation event. I have been talking about the stamp program all year and when ours is upon us. I forget to remind you in my column. Sorry. The post office invited the schools so I hope we had a good crowd. I will describe next week.

This is the last week for Sam Sidders exhibit. You have till Friday to see it. September/October will be a tribute to Dord Fitz, an artist and teacher from our area in the 50"s thru 70's. Lovella has obtained a nice collection of his paintings and his students. The exhibit promises to be a good one. More later.

Sept 14 and 15 will be work days with our book publishers. Book Committee member you should have received a schedule and instructions in the mail this week. If you didn't please call the museum. We are planning the layout of the book and preparing for printing. Books are still being sold for the pre-publication price of $65 so you can still order.

September 18, Saturday at 4pm there will be a reception and book signing for Rene Heil. We will also feature a presentation by James Coverdale on the Billy Dixon Long Shot at the Adobe Walls. Watch for Posters.

HISTORICAL MUSINGS

Peter McGuire, an Irish immigrant, had worked from the age of 11. At age 17, he began an apprenticeship in a piano shop. working long hours with low pay. At night he went to meetings and classes in economics and social issues of the day. Workers were tired of long hours, low pay and uncertain jobs. They spoke of organizing themselves into a union of laborers to improve their working conditions. In the Spring of 1872, Peter McGuire and 100,000 workers went on strike and marched through the streets, demanding a decrease in the long working day.

The event convinced Peter that an organized labor movement was important for the future of workers' rights. He became known as a "disturber of the public peace" The city government ignored his demands. Peter himself could not find a job in his trade. He began to travel up and down the east coast to speak to laborers about unionizing. In 1881, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and began to organize carpenters there. He organized a convention of carpenters in Chicago. It was there that a national union of carpenters was founded.

The idea of organizing workers according to their trades spread around the country. Peter McGuire and laborers in other cities planned a holiday for workers on the first Monday in September, halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving Day. On September 5, 1882 the first Labor Day parade was held in New York City. Twenty thousand workers marched in a parade up Broadway. They carried banners that read "LABOR CREATES ALL WEALTH' and "EIGHT HOURS FOR WORK, EIGHT HOURS FOR REST, EIGHT HOURS FOR RECREATION". After the parade there were picnics all around the city. Within next few years, the idea spread from coast to coast, and all states celebrated Labor Day. in 1894, Congress voted it a federal holiday.

Today it is still observed on the first Monday of September but there is little fanfare. Most Americans consider Labor Day the end of summer and the last three- day weekend. Try to observe the eight rule this week and enjoy your Labor Day.


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