Miller Center

Proclamation Establishing Eight Hour Workday (May 19, 1869)

Ulysses S. Grant


By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
Whereas the act of Congress approved June 25, 1868, constituted, on and after that date, eight hours a day's work for all laborers, workmen, and mechanics employed by or on behalf of the Government of the United States, and repealed all acts and parts of acts inconsistent therewith:
Now, therefore, I, Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States, do hereby direct that from and after this date no reduction shall be made in the wages paid by the Government by the day to such laborers, workmen, and mechanics on account of such reduction of the hours of labor.
In testimony whereof I have hereto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.
Done at the city of Washington, this 19th day of May, A. D. 1869, and of the Independence of the United States the ninety-third.
By the President:
HAMILTON FISH, Secretary of State.