For most, Labor Day means a day off from work or school, the last chance for a trip to the beach or a summer barbecue with friends and family. But what is the true meaning of Labor Day? It’s much more than another paid holiday on the federal calendar.
Labor Day has been celebrated the first Monday of every September since 1894. It’s a way to honor the American working class citizen for their contributions made to society to build our nation’s strength and prosperity.
There is still some doubt as to who first proposed the idea for this holiday. Some say Peter J. McGuire, secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. Others say Matthew McGuire, a machinist who later became secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York, proposed the idea in 1882. In the 1800’s, Labor Day was a labor union political movement, urging Congress to take action to do away with twelve hour work days, seven days a week and move towards eight hours, five days a week.
Twelve years after the first labor union strike in New York City, Congress finally approved the legislation and President Grover Cleveland signed the law, making Labor Day a national federal holiday.
Take a moment to educate your child about the significance of the holiday and why it should matter to them. Ideas of how to inform your kid:
- Talk about the history and let them ask questions
- The days surrounding Labor Day, take your child to work. Let them learn about your work environment, the different jobs and how each person contributes
- Teach your child about work through action – house chores, tutoring others at school or volunteering is a great way to teach the value of labor
- Research future careers with your child at the library or online
Popular Ways to Spend This Labor Day:
- Picnics and barbecue
- Shopping – common three-day retail sales
- Watch the start of the college football season
- Outdoor adventures
- Springs Preserve events starting Monday at 10 a.m.
Celebrate this Labor Day, September 2, 2013 with family, friends and good food! We would like to thank all our teachers and supportive parents for their hard work and dedication. Enjoy your day off!