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.
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