THIS ENTRY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED ON THE YELM COMMUNITY BLOG ON SEPTEMBER 3, 2007.
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday that takes place on the first Monday in September. The holiday began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the “working man”. It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a national holiday by Act of Congress in 1894, quoting Wikipedia.
“Labor Day differs in every essential way from the other holidays of the year in any country, said Samuel Gompers, founder and longtime president of the American Federation of Labor. All other holidays are in a more or less degree connected with conflicts and battles of man’s prowess over man, of strife and discord for greed and power, of glories achieved by one nation over another. Labor Day…is devoted to no man, living or dead, to no sect, race, or nation, quoting the US Dept. of Labor website.
“The Fourth of July commemorates our political freedom a freedom which without economic freedom is meaningless indeed. Labor Day symbolizes our determination to achieve an economic freedom for the average man which will give his political freedom reality.”
President Franklin D. Roosevelt, September 6, 1936
Robert Reich is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton.
Read more of Reich’s astute view “The Real Lesson of Labor Day” written in 2010.
The Yelm Community Blog pauses to acknowledge all laborers worldwide this day, for through all of our toils is the world a better place!