Labor Day, September 3, 2018

This holiday is especially important to our family because our youngest grandchild was born 7 years ago on Labor Day. That year it fell on September 5.

Since being on the lake, we’ve had big Labor Day Cookouts with family and friends. This year we’re not doing the big shindig because we’re having work done on our retaining wall. We don’t have a large lot and without a strong wall, our property could slide into the lake. Not such a good thing.

  IMG_7309 The lake is low, so it’s a good time to do this work, but it makes a big mess.

IMG_7308

Did you remember watching soap operas? I did in college, and I remember walking by students in the cafeteria and overhearing conversation that sounded like it was about real people. It was about soap characters.

Later when I was a stay-at-home-mom for a couple years I watched again. Then I loved the holiday themed shows, but I didn’t get what the big deal was about Labor Day. Why did we have the holiday, and who was it for? My father was in the Air Force, so I didn’t really know what “business” was.

I did a quick internet search on the topic. Let me summarize what I found. The reason for the holiday goes back to the 1800s when people worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week. Even children as young as five or six worked in mills and factories. Think of the worst examples in OLIVER TWIST.

IMG_7223 Charlie protecting us from a Heron. The picture makes me smile, and the 1800s make me sad. 

In the late 1800s labor unions formed to represent the workers. Business owners for the most part weren’t interested in anything but the bottom line. Besides, if they were using kids or emigrants…well, they weren’t “real” people. Riots broke out in some cities. Police were brought in to stop them and people were killed.

“On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.”  This is from the History.com

That’s really amazing. People cared enough to give up a day of pay to make a point. It took more riots and bloodshed before Labor Day became a national holiday and even more time before Congress passed laws to protect the worker.

Now lots of people think of the holiday as a time for great sales and the last holiday before school begins. (Though in Texas, school has been going on for almost two full weeks now.) Some folks will have picnics or attend parades.

We’ll have the family over, cook hamburgers (I’ll skip the buns because I’m doing a modified Whole 30) (hotdogs for the kids), and we’ll make ice cream Sundays to celebrate Sarah’s 7th Birthday. IMG_7299How will you celebrate Labor Day, 2018? Is it a holiday you always celebrate or is it not a big deal to you? Love to hear from you.

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4 responses to “Labor Day, September 3, 2018

  1. Happy Birthday to your granddaughter! Enjoy the day!

    Labor Day is an important holiday. The day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. The Labor Movement bought to all workers: health benefits, overtime pay, sick leave, unemployment insurance, grievance procedures, child labor laws, the weekend, paid vacations, etc.

    Everyone has benefited from labor unions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Susan. Thanks for all the good info. I think the importance of this holiday gets overshadowed by the sales, the picnics and parades. Thanks for stating it so clearly and for stopping by. 🙂

      Like

  2. Thanks for posting about your Labor Day, Marsha. I always wondered what that day was for in America. We had the same labour struggles here in the UK in the 19th century. Where I live we are surrounded by old Victorian mills – many derelict, but many put to use as offices or retail spaces. In the early Victorian era children would work long hours in the mills. A Yorkshire man called Richard Oastler fought for the 10 hour day for them. It seems a crime to us today that children should work 10 hours a day, but the 10 Hour Bill was a great victory for him. There is still a statue of Oastler and two mill children not far from where I live, raised in tribute. I hope you enjoy your day and your granddaughter has a lovely birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

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