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Happy Labor Day!

By   /  September 1, 2013  /  Comments Off on Happy Labor Day!

How old is Labor Day? And are you celebrating it correctly? Here are the answers!

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At noon, the marchers from the first Labor Day parade arrived at Reservoir Park. Most continued on to the post-parade party that included speeches, a picnic, an abundance of cigars and, "Lager beer kegs... mounted in every conceivable place."

At noon, the marchers from the first Labor Day parade arrived at Reservoir Park. Most continued on to the post-parade party that included speeches, a picnic, an abundance of cigars and, “Lager beer kegs… mounted in every conceivable place.” And people still celebrate it this way today!

Because my birthday falls on or near Labor Day every year, I’ve always told folks that I’m the one giving them the day off.  But the truth is that it started between 70 and 100 years before I was born.  (See how I did that without actually giving you my age?)  Labor Day was first recognized as a holiday in 1887 by Oregon, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.  Other states followed and in 1894 President Grover Cleveland signed the holiday into law, following a labor strike that shut down the national transportation system.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, this day is really all about celebrating all of us.  It is a “national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”  I’ve never been to or seen a Labor Day parade, but according to early organizers that’s how we should mark Labor Day.  The street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community,  is supposed to be followed by a “festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.”  So, if you’re celebrating the weekend with a picnic with friends, you’re doing just what you ought to be doing!

However you celebrate, I thought you might enjoy these photos from the U.S. Department of Labor of celebrations of Labor Days past!

A 1916 Labor Day Float

A 1916 Labor Day Float

The idea of fighting butchers is a little scary to me!

The idea of fighting butchers is a little scary to me!

From the 1987 parade in D.C. representatives of the Department of Labor support jobs for veterans.  The more things change, the more they stay the same...

From the 1987 parade in D.C. representatives of the Department of Labor support jobs for veterans. The more things change, the more they stay the same…

 

 

 

 

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  • Published: 4 years ago on September 1, 2013
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  • Last Modified: September 2, 2013 @ 11:10 am
  • Filed Under: Consider This

About the author

editor and contributor

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she’s not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

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