Hey, Summer Lovers!
Back in May, I told you about the history of Memorial Day, how (though it’s actually meant to remember and honor not just the soldiers who died in the Civil War, but all soldiers who have fallen during their time in the service of the United States Military) nowadays, it’s usually thought of as a marker for beginning of the summer season—as opposed to Labor Day which marks its end.
Now that you know about the history of Memorial Day, today I’ll fill you in on the history of Labor Day and tell you why it’s so much more to celebrate than just the end of summer.
See, life in America was pretty different back in the 1800’s when the holiday first came to be. Going to work wasn’t the same, typical nine to five with the weekends off that it is today. Instead, people worked twelve hour shifts, seven days a week without any real rest except to eat and sleep.
Why did they work so hard? This much work was necessary just to keep America running in the 1800’s. First celebrated on a Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York, it wasn’t until three years after the first celebration that it became a nationally celebrated holiday.
We still don’t know who should get credit for Labor Day. Some say it was a general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters named Peter J McGuire while others think it was a different man named Matthew Maguire, a machinist of the International Association of Machinists.
In either case, Labor Day is now celebrated on the first Monday of September to remember and appreciate the contributions of the American workforce from more than 100 years ago that have led to our country’s power, prosperity, and well-being that we still see today.
Happy Labor Day, Folks!