Monday, September 4, 2017

Happy Labor Day from the Contributors at Review This!

Today, in the United States, many are celebrating Labor Day.  This federal holiday originated from the increasing need to address the terrible working conditions during America's industrial revolution in the 19th century. A march in New York city took place on September 5th, 1882  - thus becoming known as the first Labor Day parade. Not until 1894 did it become a federal holiday. Today, Labor Day continues as a holiday to celebrate and recognize the hard-working people in the workforce and to enjoy a three day weekend as summer ends.


The Brief History of Labor Day


On the History website, there is a nice little synopsis of how Labor Day came to be. It is where I obtained the dates in the opening paragraph. I could recall why Labor Day came to be, but I could not recall exactly when.

In reading historical fiction, I've always been struck with how children were laborers in early American history and how working conditions were so very unsafe for both adults and those children. I am in awe of the rich history of how newcomers to the United States worked so extremely hard to create a life for themselves and their families.


Thoughts about Labor Day


Labor Day has a special place in my life for several reasons. I love the changing seasons that I've experienced living in both the midwest and on the east coast of our great country.  Labor Day weekend often signifies the cooling air and water temperatures - summer is winding down. I begin to think of autumn.

Across the Labor Day weekend, I often marvel at things such as train tracks (and the people who built them), the full roadside fruit stands (and the farmers who grew that food), and all of the truck drivers I see on the roads (the people who transport our goods). It is impressive to me how things have been created and invented through the hard work of others.

Most importantly to me, I notice the schools that are opening, the school buses that are practicing their routes, and the notices to drive safely to protect our children who are returning to school. I believe hard work is an important part of raising our children into responsible adults. But only a part. And I'm glad that our children are being sent to school rather than working long hours, at extremely young ages, to earn only pennies as they did in the past. Working with my father in his business and working on the farm at an early age was an extremely important part of my development. Experiences that I am thankful for. But those experiences were nothing like the children depicted in the photographs of Lewis Hine.


A look at child labor - by Russell Freedman and photography of Lewis Hine 



Happy Labor Day to You


Labor Day has morphed from a march to address unsafe working conditions in the 1800's to a long weekend with parades, picnics, travel, and back-to-school sales. Whether you celebrate Labor Day or not, the contributors at Review This! wish you a happy Monday on this day. And we thank you for your work and contributions to our lives.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

7 comments:

  1. Ahh yes Labor Day is the sign for a lot of changes all around us. I love your memories and can understand how this is an important part of our history. Let's never go back to those days when work was undervalued and children were a means to an end for many families. Child labor unfortunately is still practiced in many parts of the world. Thank God we are here and not there! Let's help them to also realize that children are more precious than cheap labor....

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  2. What a wonderful reminder of how far this nation has come as a huge community of people working together. The people who marched in that first Labor Day "parade" were definitely marching for good reason instead of fabricated causes for the purpose of having something to gripe about like we see so much of today. Americans really do have much to be grateful for. Hope everyone has a safe and happy Labor Day holiday today!

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  3. It's interesting that what is actually a “workingmen’s holiday,” has come to be called 'Labor' Day. But I fully agree with the reason it came about.

    The timing is perfect for the date chosen for this holiday. Because the reasons behind officially creating Labor Day represent a 'change' in the prevailing conditions of the time, having the holiday the first weekend in September also represents change. Seasonal change - end of Summer -- heading into Fall, end of school holidays ~ back-to-school, etc.

    Hope you are having a terrific NON 'Labor Day' holiday today, Dawn Rae. :-)

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  4. What a wonderful post about Labor Day. I hope you are enjoying your day.

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  5. Today actually is offering relief from the heat wave that has been, I hope, summer's farewell. I'm ready for fall's cooler weather. I hope today is the beginning. I love love Russell Freedman's books that illustrate important eras in our country's history.

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  6. Happy Labour Day from Canada! It's still very warm here and I don't think we'll be seeing fall weather for many weeks to come. I wish we would see some cooler summer weather - without benefit of the smoke from the wildfires - before the really cold fall weather sets in.

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  7. I love this long weekend marking the end of summer. I enjoy summer of course, but there's something about approaching fall that has always brought on the most calming feeling, a feeling of renewal actually. Sounds odd I know, because when we think of renewal think of spring, but for me, it's fall. Plus the cool crisp air is the best! It's just starting here now, and I'm loving it :)

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