Once upon a time, there was no such thing as Labor Day. Then the first baby was born and bam! every day became a potential Labor day.
Wait, wrong labor.
Once upon a time, there was no such thing as Labor Day. Then the first baby was born and mom started being a mom (by which I mean “working”) and every day became a day of labor.
You might think that Mrs. Joe Neanderthal, hard worker that she was, had something to do with labor day, but you’d be incorrect. Mrs. J. N. was too busy working to think about creating a holiday celebrating said work.
Over the years, people began working harder and harder. And by “harder and harder” I mean longer and longer hours in worse and worse conditions. By the late 1800s, the average American worker worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week before going home and doing all the family work that needed to be done to take care of a family. For these long hours in rotten conditions, workers were often able to feed and clothe their families. But not always. Children as young as 5 years old frequently worked in factories and mines.
Someone (there’s an argument about who that I don’t find sufficiently interesting to write about) decided that all this working was such a great thing it should be celebrated and invented Labor Day.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The first state to recognize Labor Day was Oregon in 1887 (don’t ask why it took so long, I have no clue).
In 1894, Congress finally got in the game and made the first Monday in September a legal holiday.
Labor Day is important for several reasons:
- Without Labor Day we wouldn’t know when to stop wearing white.
- Labor Day is one of the Official Days of Backyard Grilling.
- Labor Day is the end of Summer. You can tell because the pools close then.
- In the past (back when I was a wee thing), school started after Labor Day. These days school starts in the middle of the summer, so it’s one less job for Labor Day to take care of.
Happy Labor Day!