Labor Day was established to honor American workers and their contributions to the economic health of the country.
The contributions of workers are the backbone of any strong economy. Things aren’t perfect here, but job opportunities continue and that alone is a reason to celebrate the ability to labor this weekend.
The unofficial holiday was first celebrated Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City. Oregon was the first to pass a law to create a Labor Day holiday on Feb. 21, 1887.
By 1894, 23 more states had done the same. That year, Congress passed and President Grover Cleveland signed the bill establishing Labor Day as a federal holiday.
Through the years, Labor Day has come to mark the three-day weekend that heralds the end of summer – an opportunity to barbecue, go camping or take a final getaway before school gets too busy.
As it often does, the Labor Day weekend also marks the start of football season for most college programs – as sure a sign of the transition from summer to fall as the appearance of yellow leaves on the trees.
So enjoy the break, but take a moment to savor some of the reforms that came to pass since the first Labor Day celebration – eight-hour work days, 40-hour work weeks, an end to child labor and workplace safety laws.
We honor all working men and women who have built the country’s infrastructure, uplifted our economy, contributed to bettering our society and do their jobs faithfully without daily thanks or praise.