Okay, you got us. We have no idea what Labor Day is, or why it was started. But we're willing to bet that you don't know either. Most of us just see it as nothing more than a one day Get Out Of Jail Free card.
So, since we care so much about the proper education of our readers, we're going to look up the 3 sentence summary as given by the lord of all knowledge, Wikipedia, and illustrate it in an attempt to educate you on the massively underrated and massively underappreciated holiday that is Labor Day.
You see, in 1882 a machinist named Matthew Maguire first proposed we have a Labor Day while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union. Which is really quite impressive from someone who was just a secretary.
However, some historians argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor, after witnessing the annual labor festival.
In other words, we have no idea who the hell started Labor Day. Or why, really. In fact, THIS IS AN ACTUAL GIF FROM THE US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR'S WEBSITE, featuring the patronizing caption, "Who do YOU think is the real Father of Labor Day?"
Okay, so we don't really know who started it. Or why. But we do know when it started. Oregon was the first state to celebrate Labor Day, on February 21st, 1887. But how can that be, you ask? Isn't Labor Day the first Monday in September? Well it is, because fuck Oregon. They then moved it to May 1st, which you may notice is also not September, to coincide with International Workers' Day.
However, the Haymarket Massacre occurred on May 4th, and who wants to be associated with that kind of thing? Certainly not Labor Day, so President Grover Cleveland said fuck it, let's just have it be on the first Monday of September.
This change of date was favored strongly by the Knights of Labor, who clearly needed a day off from carrying all of that heavy armor while giving birth.
And now we have a free day off from work because someone - we're not sure who - suggested it, and a muppet decided it shouldn't be celebrated during a time of massacre and also fuck Oregon. So the first Monday in September was approved by pregnant knights, and the date stuck.
Got it? Of course you do. This is just simple history, folks. So enjoy your Labor Day if you're American. Or your Labour Day if you love unnecessary vowels.
Cheers and stay laborious, friends,
Music: The Pigeon Detectives
Beer: Sierra Nevada Oktoberfest
|No, really. (Reference)|