It was originally a state-level holiday organized by labor unions in the 19th Century in order to give solidarity to the workers of America. Labor Day did not become a national holiday until the summer of 1894. In 1893, the US underwent the worst recession in its history up to that point. After universal cuts in wages, virtually every union in the country led strikes against their corporate leadership. The Pullman Car Company was the biggest of these. After the US military killed a number of the strikers and ended the protests, the US government tried to reconcile with the unions by making Labor Day a national holiday.