Monday, September 7, 2009
A little Labor Day Trivia for you.
(Nothing like a little child labor. Hehehehe)
"Eight Hours of Work! Eight Hours of Rest! Eight Hours of Recreation!" What a motto. Thanks to Peter McGuire, an Irish immigrant who had the wherewithal to say long hours and low pay really weren't the best way to help Americans prosper- we got a national holiday every first Monday of September. He helped organize workers amongst their trades, and on September 5, 1882 they held the very first Labor Day Parade in New York City, with picnics, games and lots of Irish Stew and apple pie! Unfortunately it took another 12 years before the day actually became a national holiday. Thanks to President Clevland and his desire to be re-elected- Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894. (And he was NOT re-elected.)
Back then, laborers looked to Labor Day each year as "the day for which the toilers in past centuries looked forward, when their rights and their wrongs would be discussed...that the workers of our day may not only lay down their tools of labor for a holiday, but upon which they may touch shoulders in marching phalanx and feel the stronger for it." (Samuel Gompers 1898) Now that unions have stuck around, laws passed regarding work hours, lunch breaks, and paid vacations- Labor Day doesn't hold as much political meaning. For most people, Labor Day means the last hurrah before summer ends,and a chance to play and bbq with friends and family. And that is pretty nice too.
This year, Labor Day means more to me than ever. Wednesday my children go back to the educational institutions of America, and I get to watch them grow and change and learn alongside the future leaders of this country. I know, a tad dramatic, but I can't help it. I know in my heart this is the time- and the place- for a change, and I truly believe God is going to do awesome things for and through both of them. But my head feels like "goodbye". Instead of Labor Day just being another fun day to play like it has for the last 5 years- it really does have a finality to it. It really feels not only like "Goodbye Summer", but it also feels like "Goodbye Childhood". Adolescence here we come.