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Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day 2013

Today is Labor Day, which you may very well know is the U.S. Department of Labor's favorite holiday. Also, never wear white after this holiday. Bad jokes aside, Labor Day is a federal holiday which commemorates workers, and variations of it are celebrated by some 80 countries around the world, often coinciding with May Day. In the United States of America, Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September, and marks the symbolic end of summer (the actual last day of summer is in fact September 22nd). It also marks the beginning of the college football and National Football League season.

Labor Day dates back to the year 1887, in which Oregon made it a state holiday. Thirty states adopted Labor Day as a holiday before it was made a federal holiday in 1894. It was made a federal holiday following civil unrest involving labor disputes on May 1st, called the Pullman Strike. President Grove Cleveland wanted to have a holiday dedicated to workers, but did not want it to be associated with communist or anarchist groups who also commemorated May 1st. Thus, the Central Labor Union of New York was allowed to choose the present date for Labor Day.

I have always found it ironic that Labor Day is often celebrated by people not laboring. Of course, this is not exclusive, as there were plenty of retail workers working when we went to the store to buy school supplies today. I believe other people celebrate the holiday by having a barbeque or some other sort of get-together. If there were more pomp surrounding this holiday, I think I would be more enthusiastic for it. On the other hand, the people over in New York unfurled the world's largest American flag for the occasion, suspending it over the George Washington Bridge. But back in the day, there used to be huge parades commemorating the occasion, probably having decreased due to falling union membership over the last thirty or so years. But still, it would be interesting to see a modern Labor Day parade. Who would be in it? Probably union officials and politicians, but maybe a legion of desk jockeys and factory workers as well. That would be a sight to see.

I didn't do much celebrating for Labor Day, spending most of it working. I helped my dad put up some cabinets at the shop today, and shopped for school supplies with him and my sister. Yes, school is returning soon, and I am actually looking forward to my classes this year. I will be taking five classes at the co-op and one class at Bellevue College, plus Bible Quiz Team. I will go into those classes in detail at a later date. My mom attended a potluck at our local swim club for Labor Day, which I came to in time to get some bean dip and barbeque chips; all the other food was mournfully gone. There was also no taekwondo class tonight, no doubt for the purpose of celebrating the holiday. I also didn't memorize any quiz verses for the holiday.