Labor Day began as a celebratory parade thrown by the Knights of Labor, a socialist organization for union workers here in New York City. The Socialist Party itself already had a May Day (May 1st) tradition, and the Knights adapted it to their own purposes in the 1880’s, deciding to always use the first Monday in September for their communism jamboree.
In 1897, Congress made Labor Day a national holiday.
I’m all for a day off to recognize the working man and woman, but I personally use Labor Day as my signpost that summer is over, like most Americans do in this day and age. The fact that it began as a socialist tradition doesn’t make the barbecue taste any less sweet.
One other thing worth noting today: With real unemployment hovering around 16% or so nationally, I’m guessing the last thing some of these people need is another day off. Hopefully we have more “Labor” in this country by Labor Day next year.
Image: History Class Rejects