The first Monday in September brings with it another holiday, Labor Day. It isn't totally clear who founded Labor Day. Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners was the first to suggest a day to honor workers. But, many also believe that it was Matthew Maguire, a machinist then the secretary of Local 344 of the Int'l Assn. of Machinists in Paterson, NJ proposed the holiday in 1882.
What is clear is that this holiday was first celebrated on Tuesday, September 5th in 1882 in New York City, according to the plans of the Central Labor Union. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined – a street parade to exhibit “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community; followed by a festival/picnic. This became the pattern for celebrations of Labor Day. Over the course of time that has changed especially where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. Wide coverage is still given to leading union officials and government officials in newspapers, radio and television.
The vital force of labor has added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known. It is appropriate that our nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of our nation’s strength, freedom and leadership – the American worker.
Get out this next Monday September Third and celebrate the strength and backbone of our country ~ the American worker! Watch the parades, wave our flag and enjoy a cookout with family and friends!
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