Like many of you I'm taking the day off, and in fact, this is my only post today. We're spending a quiet day at home and later firing up the grill for a traditional Labor Day barbecue. It will be followed by the usually anticipated indigestion and me mumbling something like, "Why didn't you top me on that last hot dog?" Then comes the search for Pepto Bismol.
It's a day that brings back a lot of great memories. As a kid, this meant a barbecue at my grandmother's house. Family would make the "long drive" out from Cleveland, always arriving just as the food came off the grill. Sweet corn, burgers, and dogs were always on the menu, along with bets over how many ears of corn my Aunt Sarah would eat. And, the day always meant the end of summer - because unlike today where school starts in August, the Tuesday after Labor Day was our first day back to school.
With a little help from Wikipedia, I thought it would be fun to share the origin of the holiday for those of you who don't know how it got started or are readers from outside the US.
Labor Day in the United States of America is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday.
Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor. "Labor Day" was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, which organized the first parade in New York City. In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty states in the United States officially celebrated Labor Day.
Canada's Labour Day is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. More than 80 countries celebrate International Workers' Day on May 1, and several countries have chosen their own dates for Labour Day. May 1 was chosen by a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties to commemorate the general strike and events that took place around the Haymarket affair, which ocured in Chicago on May 1 through 4, 1886.
Whether you celebrate Labor Day or not, wishing you a terrific Monday!