We celebrate Labor Day near the end of each summer, around the time that kids are returning to school. Labor Day is not just a day for kids to miss school. Labor Day recognizes the social and economic achievements that American workers have made.
We Celebrate Labor Day in the United States and Canada
Labor Day is a special day shared by the United States and Canada. In both countries Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday in September. A day off for some and a long weekend for many workers. For school kids Labor Day is their first holiday since starting back to school. For other kids it is their last holiday before starting back to school. Perhaps a day of fun, football and barbecues; a day off for many workers. Banks and government buildings close on Labor Day. It is a big sales day for many retailers. While Labor Day can be a day of fun, let us not forget that it is a day of appreciation for those in the workforce.
Labor Day has a long history, first recognized in the United States more than one hundred years ago. First recognized in 1885 and 1886 by municipal ordinances, In 1887, Oregon became the first state to make it law. By 1894, 23 states had adopted the Labor Day holiday and in that year Congress had made the first Monday in September of each year a legal United States holiday including the District of Columbia and the territories.
1983 Speech by Ronald Reagan – Why We Celebrate Labor Day
In a speech by Ronald Reagan, one of our greatest presidents ever, spoke about why we celebrate Labor Day, he said:
“Each Labor Day provides us with an opportunity to pay homage to the workers who have helped make America great.
I join with all Americans in saluting the contributions of the nation’s working men and women, the most productive workers in the world.
OOnThe endeavors of today’s workers and their unions assure that our country will have an even brighter future. Yet the bounty we have reaped from these labors is not limited to mere products and services. Our workers have been one of the cornerstones of our democratic system. The values they have passed down from generation to generation have strengthened America as the land of opportunity.
Even though the nature of our labor has changed over the years, Americans still believe that all work is noble. In celebrating the efforts of American workers, past and present, we honor this fundamental truth as well.”
Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States
Message on the Observance of Labor Day – September 4, 1983
post updated 8/21/16