Posted September 3, 2010
"LABOR DAY'S TRUE MEANING"
Growing up in the South, I always thought Labor Day was a marker for the last big summer cookout and swim - the date when one had to closet white gloves, summer white clothing, handbags, and shoes.
Then later, when I left the nest and ventured into the work place, I felt for sure it was because I truly labored to put food on the table.
After my first child, I had a major revelation. That holiday had been gifted to the American women because we deserved a restful vacation strictly for our populating-the-earth efforts.
According to Wickipedia, I learned the following is why we celebrate the holiday:
"The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. Cleveland was also concerned that aligning an American labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair. All 50 U.S. states have made Labor Day a state holiday."
I'm so relieved to finally know the true meaning of the Labor Day celebration. Guess this means I can now feel free to keep toting that favorite straw handbag my kids gave me for my birthday - the one I dubbed "The Peerless Pocketbook" - with white trim and pockets that will hold my journal, a digital camera, a flip camera, billfold, couple of lipsticks, four vicunas, three alpacas, two goats, a one-hump camel, and a chihuahua.
At least until Thanksgiving.