Labor Day has been celebrated in the US since 1882. Back then, the observance of Labor Day was supposed to be marked by a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.
This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years, especially in large industrial centers where mass displays and huge parades have proved a problem. However, the first Monday in September is still a day on which the nation is supposed to pay tribute to the creator of our nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker.
And while Labor Day may be a celebration of work, it’s also summer’s official last hurrah. In other words it’s an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and the last of the great weather by doing something healthy.
Assuming Hurricane Isaac and its remnants stay away from DC, I’m hoping to spend my weekend swimming, biking, running, gardening and otherwise enjoying the outdoors.
Whatever you decide, we wish you a happy and healthy Labor Day…and should it not be a holiday where you live, happy Monday!