On Labor Day, we celebrate the many contributions of American workers to the prosperity and success of the United States. American workers built our cities, built a system of railroads transversing the continent, made American manufacturing the envy of the world, and when it became necessary transformed our factories into a great war machine to defeat fascism. We all owe a lot to American workers.
Labor Day is also a day to remember that the struggle for workers’ rights is never ending and that we must always be vigilant in protecting those rights.
Labor Day has been around for a while. The holiday got its start among the organized labor movement of the late 1800’s. Oregon was the first state to pass a law recognizing Labor Day in 1887. By 1894, 23 more states had followed suit. Finally, on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an Act making Labor Day a legal holiday to be observed on the first Monday in September of each year.
Traditionally, Labor Day was celebrated with parades with floats celebrating the various labor unions. These were often followed by big celebrations and picnics sponsored by organized labor.
Today, unfortunately, many Americans seem to have lost the original spirit of he holiday. There are some local parades and celebrations in the tradition of the late 1800’s. But many see it as simply a day off. Labor Day is now widely recognized as the “unofficial” end of summer. Summer vacation season is over and students of all ages are back in school.
This year on Labor Day, take a moment to remember the contribution of American workers to our great Country.
So this Monday, take some time to celebrate American workers and their many contributions to our country. And if you get a chance, thank a worker for his or her efforts. We all benefit from their hard work.
Happy Labor Day!
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