Happy Labor Day, Ventura County! This Labor Day, a day many people celebrate with gatherings and great food, many areas are encouraging people not to gather and to cancel Labor Day plans. Social distancing is the word of the day. Nothing is more socially distant than this! This picture was taken on a Labor Day Channel Islands trip circa 1951. This image comes from the Merrill C. Allyn photographic collection in the Research Library and Archives.

Labor Day is more than just a three-day weekend. It became a national holiday in 1894. It celebrates workers and their achievements and grew out of the labor movement of the late 19th century. There was very little legislation or regulations to protect workers before unionization and massive worker unrest, like riots, boycotts, and marches, led to enough political pressure to enact increased protections for workers. During this time of great unrest, which lasted decades, the idea of celebrating the “workingman” caught on in industrial cities around the country. It took 12 years for the nation to make it a federal holiday.

This Labor Day, the Museum celebrates all workers who have been asked to continue to serve during the pandemic. The agricultural workers, the grocery store workers, the plumbers and electricians, medical workers, and all other essential workers who continue to make sure that the public can access essential resources during this time.

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