In honor of Labor Day, I’m rerunning my post from Labor Day 2013. Enjoy the post and enjoy your well deserved day off!
Do you ever wonder when the first Labor Day was celebrated or who decided that we should even celebrate Labor Day, or do you just know that you get a long weekend the first Monday of every September and that’s really all that matters to you? Well, stop for just a minute this morning for a quick history lesson.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City (no surprise in New York, right!) in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday – a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
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 pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker.
So now that you have educated yourself a little bit, take the day off and give yourself a little TLC for all that hard work!
Make it a great day!