Monday, September 3, 2012

Happy Labor Day!

barbecueEvery year we celebrate Labor Day here in the US on the first Monday of September. Federal offices are closed. Schools are closed. Many businesses shut down for a holiday. This weekend is supposed to be a big retail sale weekend. This weekend symbolizes the end of summer for many. Many schools start the day after Labor Day. Where I live, our schools have started about 2 weeks before Labor Day. Families have big barbecues on this weekend.

But what is Labor Day? Why do we celebrate it? Who and what started it? I thought I would give us a little background in honor of Labor Day.

According to Wikipedia, Labor Day “celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers. Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers.”

I’m not sure anyone knows who started it. There are different stories about who started it but I’m not sure anyone really knows.

In 1887, Oregon was the first state to declare it a holiday. But it didn’t become a federal holiday until 1894. There was a major conflict between labor workers and the US military and US marshals that resulted in many deaths during the Pullman Strike. Congress unanimously voted to make Labor Day a national holiday and President Grover Cleveland signed it into law six days after the strike ended.

Happy Labor Day everyone! I hope you have a safe and fun day!

Image: 'Back porch family 1'

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