image: Sleeping Late – Cooper and Squeak
I love Labor Day! For me, it’s a day to celebrate and experience all the things I’d rather being doing while I’m at work. I sleep late, drink wine over an indulgent lunch, go for a long walk with Brandon and truly enjoy an anti-work day.
For other Americans, Labor Day marks the last weekend of summer. Kids lament going back to school while parents rejoice. They pack up the car for a last trip to the beach, or bust out the grill for one last BBQ with hot dogs, hamburgers and other American classics.
The origin of Labor Day was significantly more serious than the celebrations above suggest. Back in the late 1800s, many Americans were working 12 hour days, seven days a week to provide for their families. Dangerous working environments and lawlessness around child labor heightened sensitivities to labor conditions. Huge strikes turned bloody when the government under President Grover Cleveland intervened, but the workers were heard. They won an increased minimum wage, a decreased work day (8 hours) and a holiday known as Labor Day, the first Monday in September.
For more on the history of Labor Day, click here.