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托福阅读之美国劳动节的由来

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2015年09月09日

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小编导语:美国劳动节刚刚过去,大家知道美国劳动节的由来吗?下面就和小编一起来欣赏一下吧!
Many immigrants settled in New York City in the nineteenth century. They found that living conditions were not as wonderful as they had dreamed. Often there were six families crowded into a house made for one family. Thousands of children had to go to work. Working conditions were even worse. Immigrant men, women and children worked in factories for ten to twelve hours a day, stopping only for a short time to eat. They came to work even if they were tired or sick because if they didn't, they might be fired. Thousands of people were waiting to take their places.

在19世纪的美国,有很多移民者。他们发现那里的生活状态可不如想象的美好。6家人住在一个房子里,成千上万的孩子不得不去工作,可是工作环境更加糟糕。每天工作10到12个小时,只有吃饭的时候能休息一下。而且即使他们太累了甚至 病倒了也要坚持去工作,不然就会被辞退,还有成千上万的人等着替补呢!

When Peter McGuire was 17, he began an apprenticeship in a piano shop. This job was better than his others, for he was learning a trade, but he still worked long hours with low pay. At night he went to meetings and classes in economics and social issues of the day. One of the main issues of concern pertained to labor conditions. Workers were tired of long hours, low pay and uncertain jobs. They spoke of organizing themselves into a union of laborers to improve their working conditions. In the spring of 1872, Peter McGuire and 100,000 workers went on strike and marched through the streets, demanding a decrease in the long working day.

这时候一个人出现了:彼得麦吉尔。他17岁的时候在钢琴店当学徒。因为他学习贸易,这个工作可是比其他人好多了,但是他也得拿着可怜的工资长时间的工作。到了晚上他就去一些关于当时经济和社会问题的集会。其中一个主要问题就是工作条件的问题。工人都受够了长时间工作、低工资和不确定的工作。他们提出形成一个改善工作条件的工会。1872年的春天,彼得麦吉尔和10万工人一起罢工游行,要求减少工时。

This event convinced Peter that an organized labor movement was important for the future of workers' rights. He spent the next year speaking to crowds of workers and unemployed people, lobbying (游说) the city government for jobs and relief money. It was not an easy road for Peter McGuire. He became known as a "disturber of the public peace." The city government ignored his demands. Peter himself could not find a job in his trade. He began to travel up and down the east coast to speak to laborers about unionizing (成立工会). In 1881, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri, and began to organize carpenters there. He organized a convention of carpenters in Chicago, and it was there that a national union of carpenters was founded. He became General Secretary of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.

这场运动启示彼得麦吉尔组织工会对于工人权利的未来十分重要。他利用接下来一年的时间来游说工人群众和无职业人士,游说政府来提供就业和救助资金。这个路可不好走,他被视为“公众和平搅乱者”,自己丢掉了工作。到1881年,他去了圣路易斯,开始组织那里的木匠。这芝加哥成立了木匠公约。他成为美国木工联合会的秘书长。

On September 5, 1882 the first Labor Day parade was held in New York City. Twenty thousand workers marched in a parade up Broadway. They carried banners that read "LABOR CREATES ALL WEALTH," and "EIGHT HOURS FOR WORK, EIGHT HOURS FOR REST, EIGHT HOURS FOR RECREATION!" After the parade there were picnics all around the city. Workers and celebrants ate Irish stew, homemade bread and apple pie. At night, fireworks were set off. Within the next few years, the idea spread from coast to coast, and all states celebrated Labor Day.

1882年的9月5号,纽约开始了劳动节的第一场游行。两万多名纽约工人高举“劳动创造一切”的标语,呼喊着“8小时工作、8小时休息、8小时娱乐”的口号,从纽约市中心的百老汇大道上一路走过。此后的两年,纽约市的工人都要在9月初举行类似的游行活动。而且美国其他城市的工人组织也开始纷纷效仿。

In 1894, Congress voted it a federal holiday.

到了1894年,美国国会投票,把每年9月的第一个星期一指定为全国的劳动节。

本文中重难点词汇、短语解析:

apprenticeship:n. 学徒期;学徒身分

例句:After serving his apprenticeship as a toolmaker, he became a manager.

在完成了工具匠的学徒期之后,他当上了经理。

pertained:vi. 属于;关于;适合

例句:Of the French I now knew, eighty percent pertained to love and its various acts.
现在我知道,这些法语里,有80%实在表达爱和它的各种有关的行为。

lobbying:v. 进行游说

例句:The Wilderness Society lobbied Congress to authorize the Endangered Species Act.
荒野协会游说国会批准《濒危物种法》。

unionizing:vi. 加入工会;成立工会

例句:ACFTU has a monopoly on trade unionizing in China and creation of competing unions is illegal.
全总共在中国的企业工会中居于垄断地位,创立其他工会组织在中国是为非法。

crowded into :v. 涌入;挤入

例句:When in an hour they crowded into a cab to go home, I strolled idly to my club.
一个钟头以后,这一家挤上一辆马车回家去了,我也一个人懒散地往俱乐部踱去。

be tired of :v. 厌烦

例句:You might also be tired of typing long host names over and over again.
您也可能厌倦了一次又一次地输入冗长的用户名。


 


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