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Monday, September 7, 2015

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Labor Day!

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this holiday is defined as, "Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."

So I had originally planned on writing a short post today to wish everyone a fabulous Labor Day.  While researching this post I was shocked to find out that this holiday dates all the way back to 1882!  Also, Oregon was the very first state to make it an official holiday on February 21, 1887.  So cool!  Go Oregon!

My mom has always worked Labor Day weekend since she is a retail manager and this weekend is a busy sales event.  So growing up I never really understood the importance or meaning of this day.  I knew the banks were closed, there would be no mail, and I got the day off from school.  Other than that, it seemed like it was just another calendar day.

As I got older I started working in the hotel industry.  Hotels are open 24/7 365 days a year.  So I always worked all the holidays including Labor Day.  My mom had to work, so it didn't seem odd that I would have to work it too.  This seemed like the norm.  

It wasn't until I got my first big corporate job that I finally was able to have those highly desired "banker hours."  Not only was I off on Labor Day, but I got paid to not be at work (holiday pay).  Plus, Friday's were often half days, so it was like having one really long weekend.  I finally got to experience what it meant to be part of this elite group of workers that were given a day off to show gratitude of their hard work.

I really admire the purpose of this holiday and what it truly represents.  Unfortunately, I feel it too, like other holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, more and more people are having to work instead of being able to be off and observe the holiday.  I know it's crazy and impossible for the whole world to shut down and take the day off.  We need people to monitor traffic signals, police to keep the city safe, doctors to heal the sick, etc.  All in all, American workers work hard and should be recognized on a regular basis how valuable and appreciated they are.  I hope that the people who are able to be off work today truly enjoy and appreciate the holiday.

I would also like to thank the American Workers for their hard work, their contribution to society, and their achievements that has built and shaped the strong labor force of America.  So whether you have today off or are working, I hope you all know how important and appreciated you are!  

Above pic: First Labor Day Parade - NYC 1882
(U.S. Dept. of Labor)

Here are some more interesting facts I found out about this special holiday:

  • In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York.
  • Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882,[3] after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada.
  • Canada's Labour Day is also celebrated on the first Monday of September.
  • More than 80 other countries celebrate International Workers' Day on May 1 as their holiday dedicated to labor.
  • Labor Day weekend is considered to be the second largest retail sales date of the year; behind Black Friday.
  • Ironically, because of the importance of the sale weekend, some of those who are employed in the retail sector not only work on Labor Day, but work longer hours.
  • In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear white or seersucker.
  • In U.S. sports, Labor Day marks the beginning of the NFL and college football seasons. NCAA teams usually play their first games the weekend of Labor Day, with the NFL traditionally playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day.
  • The Southern 500 NASCAR auto race was held that day from 1950 to 1983, and on the Sunday before from 1984 to 2003, but returns this year, in Darlington, South Carolina.
  • Labor Day is the middle point between weeks 1 and 2 of the U.S. Open Tennis Championships held in Flushing Meadows, New York.
  • The holiday often marks the end of the traditional summer season (although summer doesn't officially end until September 21), as students normally return to school the following week, allowing for families to have one last family vacation before school starts.
Above pic: Bill for making Labor Day a federal holiday
(U.S. Dept. of Labor)

Check out more info on this topic here:

Stay fabulous and have a fun and safe holiday!

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