Happy Labor Day 2017 from the Gatlinburg Daily Post

Many Americans will spend the last long weekend of summer saying goodbye to warm weather and care free days. The Labor Day holiday is Monday September 4th, 2017, and is often seen as the unofficial end of summer. Labor Day wasn’t always about celebrating the last of summer, though. In, fact the holiday became both a revolutionary social and political movement in its time.

Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers, and was created by the Labor movement in the late 19th century. The day would not become an actual holiday until 1894. The Labor movement was especially prevalent during the height of the Industrial Revolution, when the average American worked twelve hour shifts seven days a week. Those employed even included children as young as ages 5 or 6. People worked in dismal conditions with unsafe working environments, little to no access to fresh air, and few sanitary facilities or breaks.

Eventually, workers across the nation would band together and strive for better conditions. This would, in turn, lead to new laws and customs. Many of the first unions would be formed through workers coming together in response to the Labor movement.

Soon, in 1882, the idea of a “workers’ holiday” became popular (which would be approved by Congress 12 years later). To celebrate the holiday, workers would have to decide between working and marching for their rights without a day’s pay. Thousands chose to march in both America and Canada. In September of 1882, New York workers would gather together to celebrate the first Labor Day parade/march.

Oregon would be the first state to legalize the Labor Day holiday. In time, the holiday would represent a uniting of labor unions across the country, and millions of workers would be included in the federal holiday.

Now, Labor Day is celebrated as the last holiday of the summer, one to fill the long space between the Fourth of July and Halloween. Celebration includes parties, days on the lake, and last minute beach trips over the long weekend. Happy Labor Day from the Gatlinburg Daily Post.

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Gatlinburg Daily Post Staff Writer