Monday, September 6, 2010

HAVE A RESTFUL LABOR DAY

By: Frank Bankard

As we celebrate Labor Day, how many of us will account for this day as the end of summer or the true meaning of the fight for the eight-hour work day?
On a September morning in 1892, organized workers of the New York Labor Counsel walked off their jobs in New York City and marched into the streets to demand an eight-hour work day. Two years later, after numerous bloody strikes and deaths of union workers for this fight, President Cleveland signed a bill declaring the first Monday in September a day of rest to honor those workers in hopes of labor peace.
Here's the link to the full article if you desire to read it:
http://www.thereporteronline.com/articles/2010/09/06/opinion/srv0000009232840.txt
I admit to not fully understanding how Labor Day came into existence. I don't recall studying about it when I was in school and I don't recall hearing anyone explain what it represented or why it was established. For my siblings and I, it simply marked the end of summer and the beginning of another school year. That was back when school started the day after Labor Day, so it was always a bittersweet holiday for us.
Our mom often prepared one last summer picnic and cooked vanilla custard to use for making ice cream. We took turns cranking the old wooden freezer to have one last taste of homemade goodness until next year. We played in the backyard until time to go in and take our baths. We chose our first-day-of-school clothes, gathered our new school supplies (I still love the smell of brand new crayons), and then it was time to go to bed. What I wouldn't give to re-live one of those days with my family. Times have changed and school no longer begins the day after Labor Day. We've lost some family members and nothing will ever be as it used to be. I'll have to be content with the memories of Labor Days past.

2 comments:

Cat Nap Inn Primitives said...

oh you brought back some memories..except we started back to school in august..and we had all new fall clothes that were too freaking hot to wear..but we wore them and sweated our butts off..and the next day went back to wearing our old clothes till it got colder out..the kids started on the 1st this year...strange too.threw everyone for a loop..and today is rainy and dreary.;) fall is definitely on its way..:) I got my table base stained so one step closer to finishing it up..;) have a great week ahead.:)

Linda ★ Parker's Paradise said...

Those were the good old days. I still remember playing barefoot with my cousins and sisters. I remember my first grade teacher--Mrs. Waymack. We went to a one-room school house. It was an ideal life. I loved it. I don't think I ever knew anything about Labor Day at all until I was an adult. Isn't that crazy?
I think now that it has something to do with Labor Unions but I'm not sure but I'm glad they make up any way to give everyone a holiday!
Hope yours was relaxing!
★Linda★