Sometimes it's important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it's essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow. - Douglas Pagels
Happy Labor Day! In keeping with the holiday spirit, I thought I’d post some Labor Day Trivia which I picked up from the Department of Labor’s site for you to use to impress your family and friends during your activities today.
Labor Day, a creation of the labor movement, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers and their contribution to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
I thought our country kept better records, but the most curious thing I discovered is that no one knows who to acknowledge for this end of the summer holiday. It seems we owe our gratitude to either a Mr. McGuire or a Mr. Maguire. Similar names, but two different people.
According to the site: “Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
"But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.”
The first observance was a parade in New York City on Tuesday, Sept, 5, 1882, in which 10,000 workers took an unpaid day off in order to participate.
Oregon was the first state to declare Labor Day a law in 1887.
In 1894, Congress passed a bill which was signed by President Grover Cleveland designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.
Canada celebrates Labour Day on the same day.
Other large industrialized nations celebrate a similar concept, though sometimes the celebration is combined with May Day.
One last major tidbit—according to several sites I visited while researching the day—it’s no longer a faux pas to wear white after Labor Day.
To find out more details about the day, visit the Department of Labor . To see a photo of a circa 1900s Labor Day Parade in Buffalo New York, visit the Library of Congress. And for the latest statistics about our workers, visit the U.S. Census Bureau.
I hope everyone who has the day off today is able to enjoy the holiday with friends and family or in whatever version of sliding down the rainbow that makes your day a good one.
How will you be celebrating?
Thank you for stopping by today. I hope to see you again next Monday.
Tags: Pagels, Labor Day Trivia, Labor movement, Peter McGuire, Matthew Maguire, Department of Labor,