- Peter Kinder resigns federal agency post, concludes position unnecessary and waste of tax dollars (6/16/18)2
- Stormy Daniels to visit East Cape Girardeau (6/13/18)20
- Longtime downtown Cape bartender Marcellus Jones remembered by friends (6/12/18)2
- Committee to start planning process for indoor aquatic center in Cape (6/20/18)1
- A community rallies behind Honorable Young Men's Club (6/16/18)1
- Southeast to spend $150,000 to refresh brand with Ohio firm (6/19/18)6
- New urban dance studio opens on Broadway (6/15/18)2
- Jackson natives compete in 260-mile canoe race (6/16/18)1
- Couple charged in beating death at Brick's (6/13/18)
- Mother, child reportedly hit by car in Cape Girardeau (6/18/18)
Labor Day is a time to celebrate the American worker
Editor's note: The following editorial originally appeared on Sept. 2, 2012 in the Southeast Missourian.
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."