Monday, September 06, 2010
The History of Labor Day
The holiday was origianlly supposed to be on involving speeches and parades. Today it has lost much of that ballyhoo.. It is for many the mark of the end of summer. Pools close, even though in the South September can be a very hot month. So we head to lakes. Children get ready to return to school, though that has changed too. Here in Georgia kids have been in school since the middle of August. It is marked by massive retail sales. Cars, appliances, home goods and much more go on sale. It also means that Halloween candy, if it is not already out on store shelves, will soon be.
It is no longer a day, which, as Samuel Gompers, head of the America Federation of Labor (the AFL in what would become the AFL-CIO that most people are familiar with) once called it "the day for which the toilers in past centuries looked forward, when their rights and their wrongs would be discussed...that the workers of our day may not only lay down their tools of labor for a holiday, but upon which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it."
So if you happen to be reading this on Monday, September 6th, then finish up, pop a cold one and put a burger on grill for me.
For further reading, as if you might be interested you can go to these links:
Pbs.org online NewsHour
USDOL History of Labor Day
Labor Day in Wikipedia