- Cape businessman known for starting NARS dies at 49 (2/23/17)9
- Apparent punch at girls basketball game propels lawmaker into action (2/21/17)4
- Business notebook: Owners ready to roll out the Barrel 131 (2/20/17)6
- Japanese restaurant up and running; owner surprised by fondness of sushi here (2/24/17)
- SoutheastHEALTH, Washington University School of Medicine announce collaboration (2/24/17)18
- Missouri bill would limit transgender school bathroom access (2/22/17)48
- MSHP: McLendon shot in side; autopsy refutes witness account (2/19/17)23
- Annual father-daughter dance provides some fun bonding time (2/19/17)1
- City issues precautionary boil order near Arena Park (2/23/17)
- $22M bond issue would alter Jackson schools (2/22/17)13
When it comes to the reasons for Monday's Labor Day holiday, the U.S. Department of Labor offers a good historical review.
The first Labor Day celebration was in New York City in 1882 and was organized by the Central Labor Union. Right off the bat, the holiday was associated with the first Monday in September. Other cities began to pass ordinances declaring a Labor Day holiday, and then state legislatures began adopting the holiday. By 1894, 31 states were setting aside the first Monday in September for Labor Day. That year, Congress made Labor Day a holiday in the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.
In 1909, the AFL designated the Sunday before Labor Day as Labor Sunday, dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
The labor movement in the late 19th century and first half of the 20th century was an important force in the adoption of labor laws that established a five-day, 40-hour workweek and an eight-hour workday. Overtime laws, restrictions on child labor and other laws to protect the American worker were the result of strong labor lobbying.
As the Department of Labor website puts it:
"The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation's strength, freedom and leadership: the American worker."