History of Labor Day

Facts, History


Labor Day: What it Means

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.


The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “working men’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.


Source:  http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm


Metal Sparklers




There are two types of sparklers – metal sparklers and morning glory sparklers.  The next post will be about morning glories!

Metal sparklers burn much slower than other types of fireworks and have incredibly bright light. Their ingredients include a fuel, oxidizer, iron or steel powder and a binder. The fuel is often charcoal or sulfur (hence the nasty smells sometimes), the oxidizer is often potassium nitrate and the binders are sugars or starch. For a sparkler, all those ingredients are mixed with water, coated on a wire and then dried before being ready to ignite.




Sparklers are quickly becoming popular at wedding reception send-offs instead of using rice.  Colored sparklers are made using the same metals that create colors in aerial fireworks.  The downside to colored sparklers is smoke that is produced from the added metals.  Therefore, gold metal sparklers are typically used to create the spectacular pictures because they have minimal smoke!


Excerpt from sciencebuzz.org

The First Firecracker

Facts, History

The Colors of Fireworks


The Chemistry of FireworksMetal salts that are commonly used in firework displays include: strontium carbonate (red fireworks), calcium chloride (orange fireworks), sodium nitrate (yellow fireworks), barium chloride (green fireworks) and copper chloride (blue fireworks). Purple fireworks are typically produced by use of a mixture of strontium (red) and copper (blue) compounds.

The metal salts are packed into a firework as pea to plum sized pellets called stars. After a firework is ignited, a lift charge propels the firework into the sky while a fuse slowly burns into the interior of the firework shell. As the fuse reaches the core of the firework, it explodes igniting the stars that contain the metal salts.

Excerpt from earthsky.org “How do fireworks get their colors?” by Deanna Conners