While most of us focus on Labor Day as a long weekend for BBQ's and gatherings, but most of us wouldn't be able to explain when and why Labor Day started. I really appreciated this quick article by Katie Robinson for Town & Country magazine
. Katie covers the basics and some of our questions in a concise article, because lets face it....you have a BBQ to get to.
"A job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity. It's about respect. It's about your place in your community."
- Joe Biden
Some highlights from Katie Robinson's article are below or you can read the full version here
THE FIRST LABOR DAY CELEBRATION WAS SEPTEMBER 5, 1882 IN NEW YORK CITY.
On that Tuesday, 10,000 citizens marched for labor rights down the streets of Manhattan. During this time the average American worked 12 hours a day, six days a week. It wasn't until the Adamson Act passed on September 3, 1916 that our modern eight-hour work day was established.
THE THEORY ABOUT WHY WE CAN'T WEAR WHITE AFTER LABOR DAY IS HIGHLY DEBATED.
There are three hypotheses about the origins of the "no white after Labor Day" directive. The first theory, disagreed upon by many, is based on class distinction in the early 1900s. Although white clothing was clearly an upper class luxury, after the Civil War it became harder to distinguish women coming from old money or new money. The higher class ladies then made inane fashion rules to weed out those who were "out of place."
The second theory speaks to a more practical approach by pointing out that Memorial Day and Labor Day bracketed the summer season, and therefore lighter, summery, white clothes were no longer needed.
The last theory has to do with popular fashion magazines, who may have begun promoting fall clothing after Labor Day, and the trend was picked up.
LABOR DAY IRONICALLY CAUSES SOME OF THE LONGEST WORKING HOURS FOR RETAIL WORKERS.
Labor Day weekend is notorious for having crazy sales. But unfortunately, this means retail workers (a faction that makes up 6% of the country's employment system) have to work longer hours on a day specially dedicated to labor appreciation. In fact, many other professionals are expected to work on Labor Day as well including correctional officers, police officials, firefighters, nurses, and more.
LABOR DAY IS THE OFFICIAL END OF HOT DOG SEASON.
We're serious. It's recorded as such on the National Hot Dog & Sausage Councilwebsite.
IT IS THE SECOND MOST DANGEROUS HOLIDAY WEEKEND TO DRIVE ON U.S. HIGHWAYS.
According to CBS News, there were 308 casualties over Labor Day weekend between 2011 to 2015, following closely behind Memorial Day's 312 casualties. These particular holidays designate the beginning and ending of summer, where excitement is heightened and young people tend to be more reckless on the road.
Be safe everyone, and enjoy the holiday!