Today is Labor Day in the United States. When I was growing up it represented the last holiday weekend of summer. The next day, Tuesday, was the first day of school. But that’s not how it works anymore. In most cases, kids have already been back at school for a week if not longer. Labor Day is also synonymous with Fall for me. That time when the air starts to turn a little crisp. Nights are cooler and the A/C can be turned off for sleeping. But in the hustle of a new school year, new clothes, fresh notebooks and crisp air, Labor Day gets lost. Why do we celebrate Labor Day?
If you’re not aware, Labor Day is a celebration of workers, not of the Labor Unions. The very first Labor Day was held in New York City on September 5, 1882. Reports are that it started off small and although a parade was called for, it didn’t start right away because there were no bands. Once the Jewelers Union of Newark showed up with their band then the parade started. There is an interesting article about it called Labor Daze – Pride, Chaos, And Kegs on Labor’s First Day.
From New York, Labor Day spread across the country. By the third year the day changed from the 5th of September to the first Monday and by 1894, it was a National holiday. So thank a worker this Labor Day and be very thankful that a workday is now 8 hours and not 10 or more.