Happy Labor Day!
Labor Day weekend, the “official” end of summer. When I think of Labor Day I usually think of parades, cookouts, and the dreaded end to the warm weather. But what are we actually celebrating on Labor Day? To be honest, I’ve spent most of my life rejoicing over the three-day weekend, without putting much thought into the origins of the holiday.
In the US we celebrate Labor Day each year on the first Monday in September, but the first “Labor Day” took place in New York City on Tuesday September 5, 1882. The idea was to create a day of observance to recognize the laborers who worked tirelessly to build up the infrastructure and economy in the nation. In other parts of the country, workers who couldn’t get the time off to celebrate began to strike to be able to enjoy the day with their families. Labor Day became a National Holiday when President Grover Cleveland signed it into law on June 28, 1894, and has been celebrated ever since.
I know, some of you may have glazed over my quick history lesson- but hear me out! Why does it matter? Well in between those parade floats (although maybe not this year, darn 2020), and hot dogs, take a minute to reflect on the hard work that went into building up our country, and how we continue to strive for more today. Labor Day is important because it’s a day that the working class could have off from work to enjoy a summer day with their loved ones. Today, while not everyone may get the day off from work, I’d like to think the message still stands: it is important to sometimes step back, take a break, and be present outside of work with those that are important to you.