There was no such thing as the weekend as we know it until the 1870’s. Workers put in up to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week. According to A Weekend History Lesson by Krissy Clark, labor organizers worked with the government to get shorter hours. These kinds of changes did not come easily back then, some protesters lost their lives for publicly speaking about it and others in riots. Men were insisting on having time to do whatever they wanted, whether it be with their families, get more education or just leisure according to historian Michael Feldberg. There is a bumper sticker made by artist Ricardo Levins Morales that says "The labor movement. The folks who brought you the weekend."
The weekend was actually brought about by several things: The unions coming in, pushing for what the History channel calls “a working man’s holiday.” In the 1870’s there just happened to be a lot of Jewish immigrants working in the factories as well and their day of Sabbath was Saturday. The Christian’s day of worship was Sunday, so this worked well to have two days off per week right next to each other, creating the weekend. Other players bringing about the weekend were factory owners such as Henry Ford. Christian Overland of the Henry Ford museum explains it like this: “Ford wanted to sell his Model T. And if people were stuck in factories all week, when are they going to use it? ...
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...sure time, but not freedom from work life. After all, they are still at work, work is now all around them, and it is their life. There are no more weekends.
We are more knowledgeable than we were in the early 1900’s and yet we have given up our weekends willingly in exchange for stress, lack of sleep and possibly more money or a bigger or nicer house.
Rybcznski, Witold. “Waiting for the Weekend.” The Atlantic; August 1991; 268,2; ProQuest Research Library pgs. 35-52.
Labor Day, History.com staff, History.com, 2010, http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/labor-day, access date May 01, 2014, A+E Networks
Clark, Krissy. “A Weekend History Lesson.” Weekend America. November 24, 2007. pg
Trejos, Nancy. “TODAY IN THE SKY: New Pilot Fatigue Rules Go into Effect this Weekend.” USA Today. 2:13 p.m. EST, January 03, 2014.
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