On Friday, February 22, Congressman Donald Norcross announced that the memorial to Labor Day founder Peter J. McGuire is now part of the National Register of Historic Places.
Peter J. McGuire, a lifelong labor leader and Pennsauken native, co-founded the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and is widely regarded as one of the most remarkable figures in the history of the American labor movement. From proposing the celebration of Labor Day to fighting for higher wages and fair workplaces, McGuire’s work has benefited generations of New Jerseyans.
“While many people know that Peter J. McGuire is the ‘Father of Labor Day,’ they don’t often know he lived in Camden and was buried in Pennsauken. This remarkable man, with South Jersey roots, understood the American workforce is our greatest asset and honoring his achievements with this historic landmark is the least we can do,” said Congressman Norcross. “I’ve spent my career working as an electrician and fighting for New Jersey’s working families – and Peter J. McGuire set the stage for all of that. I’m humbled that – as just a kid from Pennsauken – I’m in a position to properly memorialize my hometown hero.”
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of our country’s historic buildings, districts, sites, structures and objects worthy of preservation. It was established as part of the National Historical Preservation Act of 1966 and is overseen by the U.S. National Park Service.
Congressman Norcross has also introduced a bill in Congress that would designate McGuire’s memorial and gravesite as a National Historic Landmark.
“As we honor Peter J. McGuire, we’re reminded of the battles our union brothers and sisters have been fighting for over a century,” said Charles Wowkanech, President of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO. “McGuire fought for fairness, respect, safe working conditions, decent wages and the eight-hour workday, and we at the New Jersey State AFL-CIO thank our Brother, Congressman Norcross, for helping to preserve his legacy.”