Monday is Labor Day. We all know it’s the first Monday in September. We all know it’s the “unofficial end of summer.” We all know it’s a National Holiday. But do we know why we celebrate Labor Day in the United States and Canada, and how it came about?
Interestingly, there’s disagreement over how the holiday began. One version attributes the holiday to the Knights of Labor, the largest and one of the most important American labor organizations at the time. The Knights in New York City held a public parade featuring various labor organizations on September 5, 1882 — with the aid of the fledgling Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York. CLU Secretary Matthew Maguire proposed that a national Labor Day holiday be held on the first Monday of each September to mark this successful public demonstration. In another version, Labor Day was proposed by Peter J. McGuire, a vice president of the American Federation of Labor, in spring, 1882, McGuire reportedly proposed a “general holiday for the laboring classes” to the CLU, which would begin with a street parade of organized labor solidarity and end with a picnic fundraiser for local unions.
Regardless of whose idea it was, the holiday had merit and Oregon became the first U.S. state to make it an official public holiday. Twenty-nine other states had joined by the time the federal government declared in a federal holiday in 1894.
Here’s the U.S. Department of Labor’s official tribute to U.S. workers on this Labor Day:
“The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known, and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.”
Like so many holidays we celebrate, we get involved in having fun and we may neglect to teach our children the significance of the holiday. So, here are some tips from National Today, an organization dedicated to keeping track of holidays, their origin, and how they are celebrated:
· Read up on the history of Labor Day
“Labor Day has a rich history that had a direct impact on the working conditions we experience today. So in between rounds of BBQ at your Labor Day celebration, take the time to discuss the U.S. labor movement and its contribution to our country's current work culture.”
- Buy an American-made product
“When you're doing your Labor Day shopping, take the time to read the labels. Consider buying products that say "Made in the USA" to show your support for American workers.”
- Watch a movie about labor unions
“Many of us get Labor Day off. What better way to relax than to watch a movie about the American labor movement? There are tons of union-themed movies to choose from. "Norma Rae" ring a bell? Unions also play a major role in the entertainment industry.”
Whatever your plans, enjoy the long weekend! And…if you want to shop for a home on the North Fork – we around and happy to help you!!!
Source: Google, National et al
HAPPY LABOR DAY!!!