Labor Day offers time off for some, celebrations for many

BUCKHANNON — This weekend, millions of people across the country will grill the classics, take a weekend vacation, and enjoy local celebrations.

Labor Day is a federal holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September every year. It honors and recognizes the American labor movement and the works and contributions of  laborers to the development and achievements of the United States. Many facts about the origin of the holiday are still unknown.

Some interesting facts about the holiday are as follows: The first celebrated US Labor Day was on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, planned by the Central Labor Union. Around 10,000 workers marched from City Hall all the way to 42nd Street and then met with their families in Wendel’s Elm Park for a picnic, concert and speeches.

Canada is said to have originated the idea of hosting a day honoring the labor movement. In 1872, they held a “Nine-Hour Movement” to show support for striking workers. Some say Peter J. McGuire, who was the cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, proposed the idea.

Oregon was the first state to celebrate Labor Day as a legal holiday in 1887. The decision to change the holiday to the first Monday of September was approved on June 28, 1894. The holiday started as a part of the labor union movement, to recognize the contributions of men and women in the US workforce, but modernly is seen as a chance to celebrate the last weekend of summer.

Many Americans worked 12-hour days, seven days a week during the 19th century. The Adamson Act was passed on September 3, 1916, to establish an eight-hour workday. Historians say the expression “no white after Labor Day” comes from when the upper class would return from their summer vacations and stow away their lightweight, white summer clothes as they returned to school and work. There is still a Labor Day parade in New York City, which takes place throughout the 20 blocks of the 1882 labor march.

Many businesses will ultimately close to give their employees some well-deserved time off. A fireworks show will be held at Stonewall Resort and will cost $10 per car at the front gate upon entering. Other weekend activities include the Jackson’s Mill Jubilee and the Jane Lew Fireman’s Festival and Craft Show.

Staying safe this weekend is very important. If out and about, try to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID. Anyone who plans to partake in drinking activities this weekend should have alternate transportation or a safe designated driver—don’t drink and drive. Keep an eye on those delicious burgers and hot dogs, too. If a fire does break out, safely use a fire extinguisher, or call 9-1-1. Stay safe and enjoy the long weekend!


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