You know it occurred to me as I prepared for Labor Day 2014 that I had minimal knowledge about the holiday that I have celebrated every year with family and friends. I had some general knowledge of why we, as a nation, celebrate it but did not know much about the origins of the holiday. So, I decided this Labor Holiday weekend to do some research and share with others who may not have full knowledge.
Labor Day in the U.S is basically the holiday that celebrates the achievements of the American worker and their contributions to our country. It is celebrated yearly on the first Monday in September. Oregon was the first state to celebrate it back in 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894 thirty other states were already celebrating it. Also, eighty countries worldwide celebrate Labour Day (that is how they spell it!) each year but in those countries it is celebrated on May 1.
After the national adoption, the early celebrations in local cities and towns included parades, festivals, and speeches by community leaders. Also, the holiday marked the end of the summer and a return to school for children. Now, in more recent times, the retail community has added their flavor to the holiday by offering sales on their merchandise to the citizens that are enjoying leisure time and may want to shop.
The ingenuity of the American worker and inventor changed the world with the inventions by persons such as Orville and Wilbur Wright, Eli Whitney, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Charles Goodyear, Granville T. Woods, Elijah McCoy (the real McCoy), Lewis Latimer, Jan Ernst Matzeliger, Garrett Morgan, and Otis Boykin – just to name a few. We all have reason to celebrate the achievements of these workers and many more like them who have contributed much to the American way of life.