2/20/13 - photo by Harold Hoch - BC Schlegel scrapple making - Homemade scrapple was being prepared by Kenneth Schlegel and family members in the old summer house at the family's farm in Richmond Township. The final product was placed in seven pound pans. (Photo By Harold Hoch/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)
How Scrapple Might Have Led To The Creation Of Labor Day
By Elaina Friedman
Scrapple, a congealed loaf that blends together meat scraps, milled grains, and spices, was born in Pennsylvania thanks to German immigrants in the 19th century. For all the history surrounding this dish, urban legend has it that scrapple was what led to a far more digestible American tradition: Labor Day.
Rasher Liverburg, head of quality control at a Philadelphia scrapple plant in 1879, could seldom get his hands on any at the end of each work day. He allegedly asked his supervisors to enact an annual "Enjoy Your Scrapple Labor Day" so he and his fellow employees could enjoy the fruits of their labor, which allegedly inspired larger labor unions and sparked nationwide worker strikes.
According to the legend, strikes eventually gave way to the eight-hour workday and the enactment of Labor Day as a legal holiday in 1894. However, there is no evidence that these stories are true, and the fact that the legend behind "Enjoy Your Scrapple Labor Day" revolves around a liver-shoveler named Liverburg clouds the veracity of the story.