Today is Labor Day throughout the US and its territories where we celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of workers. On the first Monday of September we honor the labor and union movements (if you work 40 hours or less a week, you can thank unions for that one) and the role all workers have made to the strength and well-being of the nation. For many of us, we have the day off and usher in the new school year and the start of football season (anyone else bummed at some of yesterday’s upsets…ugh). Many consider Labor Day as the unofficial last weekend of summer with BBQ get-togethers often being a frequent pastime as well as any number of retail sales events. For those of you who are of…ahem…let’s just say a certain age, this is the last day wearing white was considered acceptable until next Easter.
A brief history of Labor Day indicates that as the trade and labor movements began to grow, calls for a day commemorating workers’ contributions were proposed. Colorado has long been progressive on social issues like this and was one of the first five states to enact legislation recognizing Labor Day, with Oregon being first to officially make it a public holiday back in 1887. Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894. Our Canadian friends likewise celebrate “Labour Day” on the first Monday in September.
But it wasn’t all roses and candy. Following deaths of workers during the Pullman Strike of 1894, Congress unanimously approved legislation making Labor Day a national holiday and signed into law by Grover Cleveland shortly after the end of the strike.
Any special plans for today? Whatever you do, be safe and enjoy this last weekend of summer. Before you know it, leaves will start turning colors, Christmas decorations will appear in stores (if they haven’t already-good grief, what’s up with stores putting up decorations before Halloween?? Yes, Costco, I’m talking about you!) and we’ll all be hopping on the stress puppy holiday express. Enjoy your holiday and recall the sacrifices the labor movement made for our benefit.
Live, love, bark! <3