Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day

As Labor Day approached, I started to wonder what is the history and meaning of this holiday. If I ever knew it I had forgotten, so I got online to see what I could find.

Labor Day is "a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers...Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those 'who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold'...Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist" and "later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York...The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union...In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a 'workingmen's holiday' on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country."

The above quoted remarks are from the
United States Department of Labor website. Labor Day is celebrated in many other countries of the world. In Canada it is also held on the first Monday in September, and their celebration of it appears to predate the U.S. holiday/celebration. A majority of countries appear to hold their "Labor Day" celebrations on May 1.

Some Bible verses about labor or work include:

Genesis 2:15 And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.

Genesis 3:17-19 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Exodus 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

2 Thessalonians 3:10, 12 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.

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