While most people see Labor Day as a nicely-timed Monday off to end the summer, the holiday was begun to honor the efforts of millions of factory and mill workers — including the thousands who worked at Johnston companies.
The U.S. Department of Labor's website on the history of Labor Day explains that the first recorded Labor Day occurred on a Tuesday — Sept. 5, 1882, organized by members of the Central Labor Union in New York City, NY.
After changing the annual date to the first Monday of September, labor organizations continued to honor the holiday — and several state enacted laws approving it — until 1894, when Congress made Labor Day an official national holiday.
In Johnston, generations of laborers worked in the mills that sprang up around town in the late 1800s and early 1990s, including the Pocasset Worsted Company Mill in Thornton.
Pocasset Mill at one time employed some 1,000 workers from the area, making it the largest employer in Johnston, according to the application for National Historical Register designation filed in 2010.
Did you or anyone you know work at one of the mills in Johnston? What are your memories of working in Johnston's factories?
Tell us in the comments — and share your stories with our readers.