Labor Day occurs on the first Monday every September. This year, Labor Day is on September 2, 2013. While enjoying your day off, take a moment to think about why we celebrate it. Labor Day began as a way to protest poor working conditions and low pay. Today, Labor Day is a celebration of and for the American worker, both past and present.
LABOR DAY HISTORY
On December 28, 1869, the Knights of Labor, a labor union of tailors in Philadelphia, held the first Labor Day ceremonies in American history.
The original purpose behind Labor Day, as we know it today, was a way for labor unions and employees to protest poor conditions and low pay. The true founder of Labor Day is unknown. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that it was Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union. What is undisputed is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.
The first annual Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday – a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. Until states recognized Labor Day and it was proclaimed a federal holiday in 1894, workers would be docketed pay or even fired for not working on Labor Day.
QUOTES ABOUT LABOR DAY AND WORK
Below are some quotes, some serious while others humorous, about Labor Day and the importance of labor and hard work:
- “Without Labor nothing prospers.” ~ Sophocles
- “For it is labour indeed that puts the difference of value on every thing.” ~ John Locke
- “Labor Day is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race or nation.” ~ Samuel Gompers
- “Labor disgraces no man; unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.” ~ Ulysses S. Grant
- “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
- “The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary.” ~ Vince Lombardi
- “Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.” ~Bill Dodds
- “Take comfort this Labor Day in knowing the pressure to have fun this summer is finally over.” ~ Author unknown
Besides being the unofficial end of summer, today is a day for workers to relax. Labor Day is a day us all to celebrate the accomplishments, contributions, and achievements of the American worker, past and present. Lapin Law Offices wishes everyone a happy, safe and relaxing Labor Day.