For most of us, this three-day weekend is a great opportunity to enjoy some of the last great weather for outdoor fun before the chill of winter sets in. But is that what Labor Day should be about? To answer that question, let’s take a look at the history of this holiday.
Labor Day is a federal holiday here in the U.S. that’s observed on the first Monday in September. Holidays are often a celebration of achievement, and this holiday is no exception. It’s a day for Americans to celebrate the economic and social success of workers – the people who give back to the community they’re in. It’s a national show of appreciation for the contributions they’ve made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
The U.S. Department of Labor says we should observe and celebrate Labor Day as it was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday. That proposal suggests celebrating with “a street parade to exhibit ‘the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations’ of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.”1
What we like most about the initial proposal for Labor Day is recognizing “strength and esprit de corps”, which is a common spirit of comradeship, enthusiasm, and devotion to a cause amongst the members of a group. That part of the proposal stood out to us because it creates a feeling of patriotism. That common spirit is exactly what our founding fathers created.
Celebrating the American worker’s contribution to our economy and way of life with parades and festivals was the original way to spend time on this holiday. As labor in the U.S. has changed over the last century, many have focused on the “recreation and amusement” activities more than creating esprit de corps. This Labor Day, we’d like to encourage you to share some of our history and the patriotism that coincides with this holiday with those you love – but don’t forget those backyard barbecues, picnics, and that final swim in the pool.
On behalf of everyone at True Wealth & Company, we wish you a happy Labor Day weekend!
1 United States Department of Labor; U.S. DOL – The History of Labor Day. n.d. https://www.dol.gov/general/laborday/history