For Labor Day, we’re going way back to the 1930s, during the construction of New York City’s RCA Building, better known today as 30 Rockefeller Plaza, or simply ‘30 Rock.’ While many of us will spend the weekend grilling, working, or maybe even napping like these workers (hopefully not 800 feet above the ground, though), it’s worth noting the origins of this holiday. Labor Day was established in the late 19th century, by trade unionists who proposed a day to honor the contributions of the labor movement. However you labor, and however you spend your day, we hope it’s a pleasant one.
Lived: Feb 1818 – Feb 20, 1895
Spouse: Helen Pitts Douglass (m. 1884 – 1895) · Anna Murray-Douglass (m. 1838 – 1882)
Parents: Harriet Bailey (Mother)
Children: Charles Remond Douglass (Son) · Frederick Douglass, Jr. (Son) · Annie Douglass (Daughter) · Lewis Henry Douglass (Son) · Rosetta Douglass (Daughter)
Siblings: Arianna Bailey (Sister) · Kitty Bailey (Sister) · Sarah Bailey (Sister) · Eliza Bailey (Sister) · Perry Bailey (Brother)Highlights
- 1838: Frederick Douglass married Anna Murray-Douglass on September 15, 1838; their marriage lasted 44 years till August 04, 1882.
- 1845: Douglass’s best-known work is his first autobiography Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, published in 1845.
- 1847: After returning to the U.S. in 1847, Douglass started publishing his first abolitionist newspaper, the North Star, from the basement of the Memorial AME Zion Church in Rochester, New York.
- 1848: In September 1848, Douglass published an open letter addressed to his former master, Thomas Auld, berating him for his conduct, and enquiring after members of his family still held by Auld.
- 1853: In 1853, he was a prominent attendee of the radical abolitionist National African American Convention in Rochester.
- 1877: In 1877, Douglass visited Thomas Auld, who was by then on his deathbed, and the two men reconciled.
Also on this day,
1783 | Great Britain officially loses its rebellious colonies
The Treaty of Paris is signed, granting Great Britain’s former colonies freedom, and ending an 8-year war. Benjamin Franklin and John Adams are in the French capital acting for the United States, while Britain has sent a delegation that will refuse to sit for the official portrait.1935 | A speed demon takes to the sands of Bonneville
Sir Malcolm Campbell, Britain’s land-speed record holder, straps in to his sleek 28-foot, 2,500-horsepower vehicle, named ‘Blue Bird,’ and streaks across Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats, becoming the first person to drive an auto over 300 mph.1942 | A blue-eyed crooner does it his way
Bandleader Tommy Dorsey made a good choice when he picked a skinny Hoboken kid as his singer, but Dorsey’s insistence on a contract for one-third royalties on all lifetime earnings has the singer itching to go solo. Frank Sinatra does just that, as Dorsey replaces him with Dick Haymes.
The Treaty of Paris, signed in Paris by representatives of King George III of Great Britain and representatives of the United States of America on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War. The treaty set the boundaries between the British Empire in North America and the United States, on lines "exceedingly generous" to the latter. Details included fishing rights and restoration of property and prisoners of war.
This treaty and the separate peace treaties between Great Britain and the nations that supported the American cause — France, Spain, and the Dutch Republic — are known collectively as the Peace of Paris. Only Article 1 of the treaty, which acknowledges the United States' existence as free sovereign and independent states, remains in force.