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Aug 30

Celebrate Labor Day!

Labor Day is this weekend (September 3 – 5, 2011).  This weekend often marks the end of summer for many, and it also means a long weekend.  Why do we celebrate this day?  In 1894, Labor Day was first celebrated as a national day of honoring working men and women.

No one is quite certain who came up with the idea, although Peter McGuire, one of the founders of the American Federation of Labor, often gets the credit.  McGuire came up with the idea of having a day for workers where they could show their solidarity and commitment to equal rights for all workers.  Others give Matthew Maguire credit for the idea.

Regardless of who came up with the idea, the fact is that Labor Day was being celebrated as early as 1882, 12 years before it was named a national holiday.  The first Monday in September was chosen as Labor Day because it’s halfway between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving.  Within just a few years, the holiday had spread across the country, and President Grover Cleveland then officially designated the first Monday of September as Labor Day.

What can you do to celebrate Labor Day this year?  There are a few different things.  Some people attend parades, while others stay at home and have a cookout.  Some people go to the lake or take a short weekend vacation.  Many different cities hold events on Labor Day, including outdoor festivals, musical events, and firework displays.  Finally, some people just like to take the three-day weekend and relax.

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