National Archives News

Labor Day

National Archives - Labor Day celebration banner graphic

The National Archives holds extensive records created or received by the U.S. Government on issues of labor and labor rights, including records on: unions, strikes, and responses; debates about women and children in the workplace; and the Government’s role in providing economic security and workplace rights. These records document and detail the struggle to define and assert workplace rights. We not only hold these records, we provide access to them.


The Way We Worked

From December 2005 to May 2006, the National Archives presented The Way We Worked, a photo exhibition focusing on the history of work in America, in the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Below are links to photographs and other content related to that exhibition.

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Jean Schnelle pulls weeds out of a planter while balancing her six-month-old son, Dwight, on her hip By Michelle Bogre, Lockwood Missouri, ca. 1978National Archives, Records of the U.S. Information Agency


Records relating to Samuel Gompers (1850-1924) (Gompers  was President of the American Federation of Labor and a member of the President's First Industrial Conference in 1919, and the President's Unemployment Conference in 1921

Records relating to The United States of America v. Eugene V. Debs. Debs, a leading member of the Socialist Party, gave an anti-war speech on June 16, 1918. He was indicted for violating the Espionage Act of 1917, convicted and sentenced to federal prison.  Debs appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court, but the earlier verdict was upheld.  He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment, and campaigned for the presidency while in jail.  In December 1921, President Harding commuted his sentence and he was released.

National Industrial Recovery Act 1933

Fair Labor Standards Act 1938

Records About Worker-Initiated Strikes and Employer-Initiated Lockouts, 1953 – 1981

Delano Grape Strike and Boycott 1965

Records About Wage Increases, 1971 – 1974

Records About Major Collective Bargaining Agreements, 1974 - 1995. U.S. Senate Select Committee on Improper Activities in the Labor or Management Field (so-called “Rackets Committee”) 1/30/57-3/31/60.

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Labor Day weekend at Hyannis Port

President Kennedy watches Caroline Kennedy (CBK), John F. Kennedy, Jr. (JFK Jr.), and friends with ponies at Allen Farm.

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Labor Day weekend at Hyannis Port

Labor Day weekend at Hyannis Port: Kennedy family and friends cruise aboard the Honey Fitz.

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President Gerald R. Ford Golfing

President Gerald R. Ford Golfing on a Labor Day Weekend Trip to Camp David, Thurmont, Maryland.