Pat Wahler, Author

Penning stories to savor.

It’s Labor Day

Labor Day has arrived again, filled with picnics, barbecues, and parades; marking not only a day of rest and recognition for American workers, but the end of summer. However, things weren’t always so rosy.

In the 19th century and earlier, it was extraordinarily difficult to make a living. Most people worked twelve hour days, seven days a week, and still had trouble making ends meet. During the Industrial Revolution, even children as young as age five or six could be found working around dangerous equipment in unsafe factory conditions.

People were frustrated and angry. They wanted fair treatment.

On September 5, 1882, working men marched in support of American workers. Later, strikes and riots over the issue caused bloodshed. Yet eventually labor unions made headway in helping to improve conditions, and Congress extended an olive branch by officially designating the first Monday in September as a day to recognize the value of American workers.

Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since then, baby.

Labor Day parade 1900-Library of Congress

Labor Day parade 1900-Library of Congress

But even as we celebrate, let’s not forget that some don’t have the luxury of relaxing on Labor Day. So here’s a special shout-out to law enforcement, fire-fighting personnel, military, medical practitioners, retail workers, and all others who give us help when we need it, whether it’s a holiday or not.

We hope you enjoy your day in whatever way makes you happiest!

Winston and Bogey in a rare moment of rest on Labor Day. Just think what I could accomplish if Labor Day came more often.

Winston and Bogey in a rare moment of rest on Labor Day. Just think what I could accomplish if Labor Day came more often.

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12 Comments

  1. Pat–By now I’m sure that Winston and Bogey have recharged their batteries and are back to being their active selves. At least I’m sure Winston is back to going full-tilt around the house.

    Enjoy their down-times when they come.

    • Pat Wahler

      September 5, 2016 at 11:53 am

      They’ve recharged. Wish I could!

      I guess it’s time to get away from the computer screen and go for a long walk with Winston. As you well know, Sioux, a tired puppy is a good puppy.

  2. A thank you, indeed to those who labor. You and I are two of the fortunates, now.

  3. New reader here (friend of Hailey and Zaphod’s Mom). Such true words and having worked many years as a federal disaster first responder/investigator I appreciate the shout out to those people that give up their holidays to assist others. Holidays off are truly a blessing when you get them.

    LB Johnson, author, rescue dog mom in Chicago

  4. Great article, Pat. I wish that everyone would understand that life hasn’t always been this good for so many people. Makes you put things in perspective. Hope you are having a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

    • Pat Wahler

      September 5, 2016 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Sally! It’s so true that “the good old days” were often difficult. We’re very fortunate to have the lives we have today, built on the backs of those who came before us.

  5. I recently had an exchange on Twitter with someone about Labor Day. He wondered if it was Labor Day for people who were unemployed. And I said yes. But it would have also been nice to know this little bit of history!

    • Pat Wahler

      September 12, 2016 at 8:42 am

      Since I try to keep my posts fairly short, I didn’t put in everything, but reading about the history of Labor Day certainly opened my eyes. Thanks for stopping by, Margo!

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