New Yorkers Laboring

“Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.”
—Samuel Gompers (1850–1924, American labor leader)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Construction workers, Broadway, Financial District.

Today is Labor Day. Walk About New York honors those New Yorkers who labor to make our city the finest in the world!

After 31 states had passed legislation to set aside a legal holiday honoring workers, on June 28, 1894 the U.S. Congress passed an act designating the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Planned by the Central Labor Union the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. Discover where city dignitaries reviewed the parade when you are part of our Five Squares and a Circle Tour. Take the Tour; Know More!

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Fruit vendor, University Place, Greenwich Village

“It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.”
—Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Movers, East Eighth Street, Greenwich Village.

“Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.”
—Ulysses S. Grant (1822–1885)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Metropolitan Transportation Authority construction workers, East 14th Street at Union Square.

“All wealth is the product of labor.”
—John Locke (1632–1704)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Scaffolding workers, University Place, Greenwich Village.

“A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil.”
—Grover Cleveland (1837–1908)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Scaffolding workers, Lexington Avenue and East 85th Street, Upper East Side.

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”
—Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Construction workers, Broadway, Times Square.

“The end of labor is to gain leisure.”
—Aristotle (384 B.C.–322 B.C.)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Grounds crewman, Central Park.

“Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts will follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.”
—Daniel Webster (1782–1852)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Metropolitan Transportation Authority tiling worker, East 14th Street at Union Square.

“I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.”
—John D. Rockefeller, Sr. (1839–1937)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Roofers, West 12th Street, Greenwich Village.

“One is not idle because one is absorbed. There is both visible and invisible labor. To contemplate is to toil; to think is to do. The crossed arms work; the clasped hands act. The eyes upturned to Heaven are an act of creation.”
—Victor Hugo (1802–1885)

Labor Day, Five Squares and a Circle Tour, Walk About New York, Union Square

Food service worker, University Place, Greenwich Village.

“To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.”
—Bette Davis (1908–1989)

ALL PHOTOS AND TEXT, EXCEPT CREDITED QUOTES, © THE AUTHOR 2016

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