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Montgomery Locals Aug. 30, 2017

By Staff | Aug 30, 2017

Monday will mark the 123rd year that this country has observed Labor Day since it was first recognized as a holiday in 1894. But establishing Labor Day was just one small part of the massive movement of labor reform that swept the country for decades.

The labor movement was the result of brutally inhumane conditions that millions of American workers were subjected to. The early days of large industry took advantage of poor workers and immigrants, regardless of age or gender. Given the choice between starvation and high-risk jobs that offered poverty wages, the later was chosen. In some cases, this meant working 12 to 16 hours a day.

Hazardous work was sadly plentiful in the late 19th century. From coal mines to overcrowded factories, workers could be put in harm’s way from industrial equipment, explosions, mine cave-ins, poor air quality, unheated workshops, and fires. Employees were subject to risk of death and injury, but weren’t entitled to any form of compensation. According to the book “A People and a Nation, Volume 2” a railroad supervisor stated, “The regular compensation of employees covers all risk or liability to accident. If an employee is disabled by sickness or any other cause, the right to claim compensation is not recognized.”

There were many labor strikes and uprisings over the course of several decades, including the infamous Molly Maguires which happened in north-eastern Pennsylvania.

When labor laws first began to appear, they were mostly state laws rather than federal and could easily be skated around. While there were some age requirements for employing children, many under-aged children worked in dangerous professions by being forced to lie about their age. In many places in the United States, there was a large resurgence of child labor during the Great Depression when desperate parents pulled their children from school and put them into factory jobs in major cities.

Unbelievably, there were no federal minimum wage laws until 1937 when the rate was set at 25 an hour.

So when Monday comes, enjoy your day off! The struggle for safe working conditions was a long and hard one for countless people.

THOT “If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a streetsweeper who did his job well.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Community Garden that was planted by the children in the Summer Alive program is in full bloom and an open invitation has been extended to gather fresh vegetables and seasonings. Tomatoes, green beans, kale, squash, Thai basil, rosemary, and oregano are available.

The Montgomery Lions Club is accepting new members. If you want to help make Montgomery a better place through serving the community as part of a team, please contact Roger McRae at 570-971-2825.

Happy birthday to Levi Heasley who is turning one on August 30th.

Birthday wishes go to Brenda Crapser who will be celebrating on August 30th.

Happy birthday to Matt Neufer who will be commemorating another year on September 4th.

Montgomery events

Thurs. Aug. 31 Hometown Hero Banner order forms and money must be turned in. Order forms are available at Montgomery Weis, the Montgomery Borough Building, the Brady Township Building, and the Clinton Township Municipal Building.

Thurs. Aug. 31 St. John’s Lutheran “Brick” Church will be hosting the Bloodmobile from 1-6 p.m.

Sat. Sept. 9 The Adam Room will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The event will be counted as part of the Passport to History program and you can receive an entry for the drawing. The Adam Room is the headquarters of the Montgomery Area Historical Society.

Sun. Sept. 10 There will be an all-you-can-eat breakfast from 8-11 a.m. at the Oak Grove Community Center in Elimsport. The menu includes French toast, pancakes, bacon, eggs, sausage, sausage gravy, biscuits, fried potatoes, toast, fruit, and beverages.

Mon. Sept. 11 The Annual 9/11 Memorial Ride will be held at the Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Company from noon to 10 p.m.

Mon Sept. 11 The Clinton Township Supervisors will meet in the Municipal Building at 6:30 p.m.

Tue. Sept. 12 The Montgomery Borough Council will meet in the Borough Building at 6:30 p.m.