Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy Labor Day

The following is the entry for Labor Day from the Encyclopedia Americana (because Wikipedia sucks ass). Incidentally I have recently discovered the power of my library card. As a Miami-Dade Public Library System cardholder I get access to a bunch of neat stuff online including the Encyclopedia Americana and access to the archives of more than 50 newspapers. So if you think Wikipedia is "all that" because it's free, get a library card and enjoy its benefits. It's not free, we all pay for it in the form of taxes but it's there for the asking.

Labor Day, a holiday observed annually in the United States and Canada on the first Monday in September and on different dates in other countries. Its purpose is to recognize labor's contribution in the world, and it is therefore a day of special significance to organized labor movements. In the United States it is observed as both a federal holiday (applicable to federal employees and the District of Columbia) and a holiday recognized by law in each of the states, the U.S. territories and possessions, and Puerto Rico.

In the United States credit for the idea of setting aside a special holiday to honor labor has been given to two men: Matthew Maguire, a machinist from Paterson, N.J., and Peter J. McGuire of New York City. McGuire was the founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, which became the American Federation of Labor.

The first Labor Day parade, composed of about 10,000 workers, was held in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882. In 1887 Oregon became the first state to grant legal holiday status to Labor Day (observed until 1893 on the first Saturday in June and thereafter on the first Monday in September). Also in 1887 the holiday was established for the first Monday in September by Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York; other states soon followed suit. In 1894, Congress made the day a legal holiday for federal employees and the District of Columbia.

Australia celebrates the holiday on different dates in the various states, and New Zealand observes it in October. In most European countries, including Russia, May Day (May 1) is observed as labor's special holiday.

Source: "Labor Day." Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier Online (accessed September 1, 2006).
Now I'm not a big fan of labor unions because to me they have strayed very far from their original purpose and have been a haven for mobsters and communists but I'll take a day off whenever I can get one. So enjoy the long weekend and Go Gators!


blackcat said...

Hello Henry!

just wanted to say thank you for stopping by my blog. I still have a lot of work to do, but so far I am happy that I have started and that I was able to connect with such great people who fight for showing reallity to the world.

Take care,

Srcohiba said...

Go Canes!


I miss the old rivalry

beckie said...

What's up w/wikpedia? Why don't you like it? Just curious.

Thanks for the history lesson. Never really knew the origins of Labor Day before.

Enjoy your day off :o)

Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

my thoughts on Wikipedia can be found





Henry "Conductor" Gomez said...

Sorry forgot to address the previous comment to Beckie. Thanks for dropping by again.