We can thank this man for Labor Day

The United States celebrates Labor Day today. Most of us celebrate Labor Day with a long weekend and a day off for the holiday on Monday. But do you know how Labor Day came about? I didn’t, so I did a little research…

  • Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894, under president Grover Cleveland. The holiday had been celebrated as a “workingmen’s holiday” by labor unions since 1882. Many states made the holiday official soon after, but only after the infamous Pullman Strike did the president and congress move to make it a national holiday. The holiday honors working people and labor unions as well as to memorialize their struggles in the past.
  • In many other parts of the world it’s the first day of May (May Day) that celebrates workers and labor unions. In the U.S., May Day became the traditional “beginning of Spring” holiday because during the Cold War era the Soviet and Eastern Block countries essentially annexed the holiday.
  • Labor Day is also a landmark time for football fans. The college football season usually starts the weekend prior to Labor Day and the NFL begins it’s regular season the week following Labor Day. (Miami University was drubbed by Mizzou and USC edged out University of Minnesota–Doc’s alma maters) 2014 update: Miami was drubbed by Marshall (I’m seeing a pattern here) and Minnesota crushed Eastern Illinois.
  • For the fashion conscious Labor Day traditionally marks the time where you put away your white clothing.
  • Michigan has a 54 year long tradition of walking the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day. The governor leads the 5 mile walk across the Straits of Mackinac and if you’re lucky enough to be one of 400 names drawn you can run the 5 mile bridge run.
  • Perhaps most importantly, Labor Day signals the end of summer. Here in Michigan, it’s the last big tourist weekend and it’s even law that public schools cannot begin their school year until after Labor Day!

The Mackinac Bridge, where a Labor Day tradition lives

So there you have it. A short primer about Labor Day. That’s a lot of information for me to throw at you just to let you know that we won’t be open on September 5th. We will re-open on September 6th with our normal schedule. We hope that you enjoy your holiday weekend, and we hope you have a wonderful autumn 2011!

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