Happy Labor Day!

Hi! Winnie Griggs here.

Since today is Labor Day, I thought I’d reprise a post from a couple of years ago that has some history and trivia surrounding this holiday. And since I’m cheating a bit, to make it up to you all, I’ll also give away a copy of a 2-in-1 volume of two of my titles that Love inspired is releasing this month (more info on that below)

The U.S. is not the only or even the first country to set aside an observance for the working class. The observance, as we know it, originated in Canada in the 1870s. A number of European countries have May Day celebrations that have a similar focus.

As for who initially proposed Labor Day in this country, opinions are split. Most historians consider Peter McGuire the Father of Labor Day in the U.S. He was an Irish-American cabinet maker who was also the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. But there is another camp who contends it was actually a different McGuire – a machinist named Matthew McGuire – who was responsible.

Without labor nothing prospers.
~Sophocles

The first Labor Day celebration in the U.S. was celebrated on September 5, 1882 (which was a Tues. by the way, not a Monday). It was held in New York City’s Union Square and was designed to ease tensions with city workers after numerous strikes and outbreaks of violence.

The first Labor Day parade was held the following year in September of 1883. More than 10,000 workers took an unpaid holiday in order to participate. The event was in actuality a rally of laborers calling for an 8 hour work day (at this time 12 hour work days were the norm).

Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.
~Ovid
Though the movement started in the east, the first state to declare Labor Day a state Holiday was Oregon. From there it moved to Colorado, New York and Massachusetts. So you can say it had a west to east progression.

It was 12 years after that first celebration, in June of 1894, that Labor Day became a national holiday. Grover Cleveland was President at the time. He was a staunch opponent of organized labor groups but he actually pushed hard for this in an attempt to quell the unrest that was erupting in labor riots across the nation.

By the time Labor Day was declared a federal holiday, it was already a state holiday in thirty states.

If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end,
it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.
~Doug Larson

Other Fun Facts:

  • The old-school rule about not wearing white after labor day is thought to have to do with the fact that in earlier years, the wealthy wore white linen suite and Panama hats as they escaped to fancy summer resorts. When they returned to the sooty, dusty, grimier cities of the work-a-day world, they once again donned their drabber clothing.
  • The first Waffle House restaurant opened for business on Labor Day in 1955.
  • Once touted as a day to celebrate the working class, Labor Day has taken on the added significance of being a day that marks the following milestones:
    • The end of summer
    • The beginning of the school year
    • The unofficial kickoff of the NFL season
    • And, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, hot dog season begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day.
  • According to U.S. Highway accident stats, Labor Day weekend is one of the most dangerous weekends to be on the road. The likely cause – many high schoolers and collegians consider it the last party weekend before heading back to school.
  • Labor Day ranks third in the list of popular days for barbecuing, right behind Independence Day and Memorial Day.

There you have it, the highlights I discovered when digging through the facts and lore surrounding Labor Day.

So were any of these footnotes new to you? And do you do anything special to celebrate the day?

 

Giveaway!

I’ll be selecting one person from among those who comment to day to receive a copy of the below book:

 

A Baby Between Them

For two months, Nora Murphy has cared for the abandoned infant she found on their Boston-bound ship. Settled now in Faith Glen, Nora tells herself she’s happy. She has little Grace, and a good job as housekeeper to Sheriff Cameron Long. Cam has also closed himself off to dreams of a family. 
When the unthinkable occurs, it will take all their faith to reach a new future together.

The Proper Wife

Eli Reynolds knows what he wants in a wife, and flighty Sadie Lassiter couldn’t be further from the mark. For one thing, he has his nine-year-old sister’s welfare to consider. But when bad weather strands Eli and Sadie together, he sees a new side to her character. Her faith is true, and she’s filled with humor and sweetness. Could Eli take a chance on happiness and take Sadie as his bride?

To learn more or get your copy, check HERE

Winnie Griggs
Winnie Griggs is the author of Historical (and occasionally Contemporary) romances that focus on Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace. She is also a list maker, a lover of dragonflies and holds an advanced degree in the art of procrastination.
Three of Winnie’s books have been nominated for the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice Award, and one of those nominations resulted in a win.
Winnie loves to hear from readers. You can connect with her on facebook at www.facebook.com/WinnieGriggs.Author or email her at winnie@winniegriggs.com.
Updated: August 29, 2019 — 5:48 pm

45 Comments

  1. Hi, Winnie. Thank you. A great blog, and I love the Sophocles and Ovid quotes. And a fun fact I wasn’t aware of is hot dog season begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day! Today, I’ll be going to a Labor Day buffet, and I’m looking forward to grilled hot dogs and hamburgers!

    Happy Labor Day!

    1. Avatar

      I have to admit, and maybe it’s just too early, I do not get Doug Larson quote.

      Loved your blog! I love to be reminded of things I forgot and to learn things about our history. I learn a lot from all the Phillies blogs!

      I’d love the opportunity to read your books!

      Happy Labor Day! This year we aren’t doing anything for Labor Day. My daughter and I are both sick. Ugh

      1. Hi Stephanie. So sorry you’re sick – hope you and your daughter get better quickly.

    2. Hi Sharon. Yum! Burgers and hot dogs are always better grilled than cooked indoors. Have fun!

  2. I knew Europe had May Day or something similar but I didn’t know Canada also had a similar day. I do nothing special today just my same routine.

    1. Hello Kim. Glad you learned a new tidbit from the post. Have a good day.

  3. Happy labor day! As soon as the sun comes up, my husband and I are going to get to work on replacing a section of our fence. It has to be done and since he has a day off, we are taking advantage of it.

    1. Hi Janine. I totally understand. Before I retired I used many of my days off to take care of chores. Hope you’re able to take a little time to rest

  4. Winnie, thank you for this interesting post! Enjoy your Labor Day!

    1. You’re quite welcome Caryl. Happy Labor Day to you as well.

  5. The fact about hot dogs was interesting. I didn’t know that one. This Labor Day I have no plans to be out of my house. We had our Women’s Bible Talk in the Park yesterday followed by food. That is enough for me.

    1. Hi Sonnetta. Sounds like you’re in for a nice relaxing day. Enjoy!

  6. Great post. I didn’t know about the hot dogs and also the first Waffle house was the year I was born, found that interesting. Happy Labor day and hope you have a great one.

    1. Hello Quilt Lady. The hot dog fact seems to be the one surprising most folks. Have a great Labor Day!

  7. Hi Winnie … Labor Day is the beginning of fall travel for us. Campgrounds are less busy and the temps are cooler. We enjoy the change of foliage colors, watching the squirrels gather acorns and pine cones, watch wagonloads of pumpkins begin to show up with fall produce such as squash, pumpkins, candy corn, and cornstalks. My Dahlias are in full bloom. I just love fall. Can you tell ?.

    1. Hi Kathy. Oh how fun, you paint such lovely word pictures. Have a great Labor Day.

  8. Happy Labor Day!. I plan to do little today except prepare for a hurricane. I loved the post.

    1. Oh Debra, do stay safe! I grew up in the New Orleans area so I know just how scary and dangerous hurricanes can be.

  9. Thank you for sharing your great post! I didn’t know hotdogs had a season and that they end on Labor Day. We eat them when the mood strikes! ?. Happy Labor Day! We will be spending it with friends.

    1. Hi Melanie. Spending the day with friends and family is a great way to celebrate! Hope you have an absolutely delightful day.

  10. Interesting post. Just a day to kick back and relax before school starts tomorrow.

    1. Glad you liked the post Estella. Enjoy your relaxing day!

  11. Thank you for the interesting info!! This year, my Labor Day is being spent waiting to see what path Hurricane Dorian is taking, and praying that the eye stays out to sea, instead of making landfall near me! So far, so good!!

    1. Hi Trudy. Glad you enjoyed the post. Please stay safe! I will be praying for everyone in Dorian’s path.

  12. Hello! Very interesting article. I didn’t know it started in Oregon. We aren’t doing anything today, my other half has to work. Have a wonderful day. We are watching the Hurricane here in South Carolina.

    1. Hello Marina. Glad you learned something from the post. And do stay safe.

      1. Thank you, I hav have everything done. We will be hunkering down Tuesday.

  13. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  14. Happy Labor Day. Hope it is safe and fun. This is an interesting post. I wasnt aware of -how the saying about wearing white came from – first waffle house and the US stats about driving. Thanks for sharing .

    1. Hi Lori – thanks for stopping by. And Happy Labor Day to you as well.

  15. I did not know Labor Day started in Canada. Our Labor Day is usually spent putting things away and catching up on work that was not done while we were at the fair. Our fair begins on Wednesday and ends on Sunday. When the kids were in school I was always very thankful we had a day to catch up before the school activities began at full strength.

    1. Hi Alice! Glad I was able to ‘teach’ you something 🙂 And it sounds like you take full advantage of your Labor Day!

  16. Enjoyed your blog today lots of interesting info

    1. Hi Glenda, glad you liked it. Hope your Labor Day was relaxing and fun!

  17. Hi, I didn’t know about the first Waffle House opening on Labor day or I didn’t know about Labor day marks the end for hotdog season, I Love hotdogs, and I eat them whenever. 🙂 I loved reading through all these Labor day fun facts! Thank you so very much for sharing them. We don’t usually do much for Labor day, being as my husband and I are retired, we just enjoy the day and take it easy. The book sounds like a very good read and like a real good page turner, and I love the cover, it is Beautiful! Keep on enjoying this Labor day evening. And Thank you so very much for this post. God Bless you.

    1. Hello Alicia! Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for spending part of your Labor Day here with me.

  18. Looks like some good books. Thanks for the chance. 🙂 Happy Labor Day!

  19. Thanks Nancy, hope you had a really nice Labor Day!

  20. I didn’t realize Waffle House was opened on Labor Day.
    A BABY BETWEEN THEM is a wonderful story. I have the trilogy. It took me a while to find all the books, but it was well worth the effort. I thought I had read THE PROPER WIFE, but I just read the sample on Amazon and it is a new book to me. I enjoyed the chapter plus available and will be looking for this one also.
    I hope you had a wonderful Labor Day weekend.

    1. Thanks Patricia. Glad you enjoyed the Irish Brides trilogy and the sneak peek at TPW. Hope you had a really lovely Labor Day!

  21. May I ask for thoughts and prayers for my son and me,both fighting serious illnesses? O really appreciate it. <3

    1. You got it! Hope everything goes well for you both

  22. Wow! Winnie, Thanks for a Awesome blog. Didn’t know Hot Dog season Ends….Bummer!!! Enjoy reading your books & all the other fillies…
    Happy Labor Day to all!!

    1. Hi Lois – you’re quite welcome. And thanks for your kind words. Hope you had a lovely Labor Day!

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