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Three Cheers for Labor Day

Ah, Labor Day. Truly the title of the day is an oxymoron - most everyone is off work or, at least taking a lighter load on this first Monday of September. Some call it the last holiday of the summer, and with good reason, as the next major holiday, Thanksgiving, is at the end of fall.

How did Labor Day come about, anyway? What's the purpose? Well, there seems to be a bit of controversy over who actually proposed "Labor Day".

Most obviously, Labor Day is supposed to be a reward to those who work regularly - an extra day off to say "thanks!" to the members of the regular work force. The first Labor Day observance occurred over one hundred years ago, in New York, and was heralded by parades, spiritual and educational exhibits, and recreational festivals geared toward workers and their families' amusement. During the Industrial Revolution, it was common to see men working ten, twelve, even fifteen hours a day - the need for at least one day during the year to show appreciation for the values and morals of these men who took it upon themselves to carve out a living for their families was quite apparent. So a group of workers marched, taking a day against their pay to do so, and plead their case against unfair bosses and unappreciated unions.

Labor Day is truly an all American event. The holiday has changed with the times and now is mostly celebrated with barbecues, fishing, swimming, and general drunken splendor. Rarely nowadays is there a parade or festival to celebrate Labor Day, but one might find half off specials at the local water park or themed destination in celebration of the day. So, though the holiday has evolved, it is still celebrated with family and close friends who revel in getting a day off work.

Bex carr
Fri, 26 Jun 2009 01:48:04 +0000

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