Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend!

For many, the Labor Day Weekend in the United States represents the end of the summer with pools closing and picnics and BBQ's tapering off. There are great sales in all of the stores everywhere. Summer clothing is ushered out and Fall stuff hits the shelves. Out here in Cali, we're fortunate enough to have several months of great weather still ahead of us.

This year, Labor Day Weekend has been a nice relaxing experience for me. I've actually enjoyed driving around the city. The traffic has been light and the weather has been perfect. I've noticed a great improvement in the air quality and the fires seem to be relinquishing their grip a little. The past few days I attended a fabulous party, played golf with a friend who was visiting for the weekend, and caught up on some reading and blogging!

Suffice to say - I have a new appreciation for "Labor Day Weekend" and the opportunity to rest and take a break from laboring. In response to my newly acquired appreciation, I decided to check into the history of Labor Day. I learned that it's actually a Holiday that we borrowed from our neighbors to the north. According to Wikipedia, Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September. The holiday originated in Canada out of labor disputes ("Nine-Hour Movement") first in Hamilton, then in Toronto, Canada in the 1870s, which resulted in a Trade Union Act which legalized and protected union activity in 1872 in Canada. The parades held in support of the Nine-Hour Movement and the printers' strike led to an annual celebration in Canada.

In 1882, American labor leader Peter J. McGuire witnessed one of these labor festivals in Toronto. Inspired from Canadian events in Toronto, he returned to New York and organized the first American "labor day" on September 5 of the same year. The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the US military and US Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. Cleveland was also concerned that aligning a US labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair. Currently, all 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday


So there you have it. A bit of history and some rest and relaxation. Now all of you reading this (and me) get back to work!

Labor Day is over!


Chris said...

How interesting!

The only problem with Labor Day is that I can't shake the feeling today that it is still MONDAY! ;)

Tamera Daun said...

I agree Chris. I think it's still Monday, so let's do it all over again! Stop working everyone!

Bowie Mike said...

Interesting history. Thanks for the lesson!

Jane Turley said...

Oh, this American fetish for not putting the "u" in words drives me crazzzzy. It's labour, labour, labour Mr I! Humph, I see I'm going to have to educate you... Now are you going to be a willing pupil or are you going to get all principled on me?! Am I going to have to be strict with you?? Cos you know, Miss Jean Brodie has nothing on me. I can be a very, very hard taskmaster!

Now about these fires. Hmm...that is not good. The same happened last year did it not? Tis very sad indeed for those who have had losses;(

However... it sounds like you have been have a rather too cushy time playing golf etc. I think we should start a lesson immediately! Repeat after me; "I will always follow Miss Jayne's instructions".

Good! Right, now write out "labour" 300 times and email it to me:)

Ps; don't forget to add the holiday speedo snaps:))

intrepidideas said...

Chris/Tamera... I agree Today does feel like Monday. Maybe it really is Monday but spelled Tuesday. Ya Think?

intrepidideas said...

Thanks Mike...

intrepidideas said...

OMG ... The lovely Miss Jane is back from her travels. Someone fan me please! Miss Jane, now you know that adding a "u" to all of these words would be entirely too much work. That's the whole point of Labor Day.... Eliminating a day of work. Adding a "u" would be totally contrary. Welcome back. You were missed!

Jane Turley said...

Awwww...you missed me!

It's my subtle English charm isn't it?!

I missed you too my little fluffy wuffy, cuddly wuddly, cutey wutey pie:)))