A Workingman's Holiday

A Workingman's Holiday

Slide1As we enjoy an extra day of weekend during these early days of September, Jason Hartman and team joins the masses in celebrating the end of summer, marked by the occurrence of the oddly -named Labor Day. On Monday, September 2 (when you?re not barbequing), we?ll save you the trouble of research and give you a brief history of the holiday.

Dedicated to recognizing social and economic achievements of workers in America, Labor Day marks a national tribute to workers who have contributed to the productivity and progress of the United States?contributions, as the Department of Labor puts it, to ?the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.? And though we?ve now been celebrating the holiday for over 100 years, there is much dispute about the actual man who proposed the holiday and subsequent celebration.

The first possibility is Peter J. McGuire, who served as secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners as well as cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. The second contender is Matthew Maguire, a machinist and eventual secretary of the International Association of Machinists and Central Labor Union who reportedly suggested the holiday in 1882. No matter the founder, the holiday first received government recognition in 1885?though it had been celebrated since Tuesday, September 5, 1882.

In its earliest forms, Labor Day was celebrated as outlined in the first holiday proposals?by a street parade to display to the people the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” within the greater community. Next, there was a festival for workers and their families that included a variety of recreational activities. Eventually, these sorts of activities were followed by speeches made by prominent people in the community, likely to place more economic and civil significance on the holiday. In 1909, the Sunday before Labor Day was officially adopted as labor Sunday and dedicated to the educational and spiritual aspects of the labor movement.

Today, Labor Day consists of the symbolic end of summer and the last day you should wear white. It marks (within a few days) the beginning of college and pro football, and the beginning of many retail sales (the second largest shopping day of the year, after only Black Friday). Ironic, given the amount of retail workers forced to work longer than normal hours during this celebration of labor.

So, if you?re kicking up your feet to watch a bit of baseball, throwing some hotdogs on the grill, or out looking to score a deal?enjoy the fruits of someone else?s labor. And if you?re stuck at work, well, we salute you. (photo credit: Corey Templeton via photopin cc)

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The Young Wealth Team