Written and published weekly by Cheryl Johnson, the Musician's Helper
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Due to the Labor Day Weekend, I am going to step outside of the music topic and talk a bit about how Labor Day began. It was a day set aside in the 1800’s to commemorate and celebrate the accomplishments that American workers made to our great nation.
There is a dispute over who actually started the Labor Day holiday. Some say that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."
But his claim is not secure. There is a challenger by the name of Matthew Maguire. Recent research seems to support Matthew Maguire’s claim over Peter McGuire’s. What they have found is that Mr Maguire proposed the holiday in 1882. The Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to organize a demonstration and picnic.
The first Labor Day was celebrated on a Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The next year it was honored on September 5, 1883. In 1884, they chose the first Monday of September to honor the workmen’s holiday. Each year, more and more labor unions accepted this holiday and industrial centers began celebrating Labor Day.
And so the celebration of Labor Day grew. In the first proposal, there was to be a street parade to show "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community. The parade was followed by a festival for fun and amusement for families of the workers. Later speeches by prominent men and women were introduced into the festivities. As more and more emphasis was placed on Labor Day, in 1909, the Sunday before was decided to be called Labor Sunday. This day was dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the work community.
Bottom line is, we owe the labor force for the highest standard of living that the world has ever known. It’s so appropriate that on this day, we pay tribute to the the party responsible for so much of the nation’s strength, freedom and leadership...the American worker! You are who makes America strong!
Have a fun and safe Labor Day.
B# and God Bless!
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