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No school. No work. Yes, it’s the Labor Day holiday. Time for that end-of-summer fling whether it’s in the mountains, the beaches or just in the backyard with family, friends, a grill and even fireworks.
Monday, Sept. 3, is a federal holiday that celebrates the contributions of America’s workers. Schools are closed, as well as government offices, banks and other businesses.
The origin of summer’s final holiday dates back 130 years.
The first U.S. Labor Day was celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City.
In 1882, American labor leader Peter J. McGuire witnessed a labor festival in Toronto. Inspired, he returned to New York and organized the first American “labor day” on Sept. 5 of the same year.
The first Labor Day came following the deaths of several workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. 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 pushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law six days after the end of the strike.
All 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday.
The form for the celebration of Labor Day 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,” followed by a festival for the workers and their families.
This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civil significance of the holiday.
Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. The holiday is often regarded as a day of rest and celebration, including parades.
While we’re grateful for a day that specifically recognizes the accomplishments of our working men and women, we encourage those entrusted with guiding our state and county’s economic development to continue their efforts to bring jobs to our state and county.
Because without jobs, there would be no labor and without labor, there’d be no reason to celebrate Labor Day. Take a moment Monday to remember just what we are celebrating on Labor Day – jobs and the people who do them, day in and day out.
People, young and old, across out state and nation have various ways of celebrating Labor Day.
No matter how you celebrate, we urge you to be careful.
When you drive, whether across town to a pool cookout or to the beach, or river, be a defensive driver and watch out for the other guy.
Keep alcohol consumption in moderation and be sure to designate a sober driver. Law enforcement agencies step up patrols during this time and they will be looking for those driving under the influence as well as those violating seat belt laws.
Use common sense around water and fireworks.
We want you to have a fun and happy time, but we also want to see you back at school and work on Tuesday.