September 3rd Labor Day

Today is the day we celebrate all those who work. Well, that practically covers everybody so it is meant to only cover those who are in the labor unions in America. (Guess the rest of us don’t really work) But, whether in a Union or not, we still get the day off. It is the first Monday in September.

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The first Labor Day was celebrated with a parade in New York City on September 5th, 1882.  The day became an official holiday when Congress voted it into law on June 28, 1894. Unions use to be something that stood up for the worker and did a tremendous amount of good improving working conditions and getting fair pay for those working under it’s affiliation.  Now it’s more or less a third political party that mostly just serves themselves.

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The day was created either by Peter McGuire, who was in the Central Labor Union and a board member of the American Federation of Labor. Or, it may have been…

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Matthew Maguire, who was also a Leader in the Central Labor Union. Perhaps having similar names confused the issue. Either way, both were instrumental in the formation of Labor Day. A day awarded for the common worker to be able to take off and… work in their parades for no pay instead!

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There was a time when Unions were a necessity. Today it’s a business in its own right. The average pay for a Labor Union Leader is $252,370.00 a year. Naturally, that is money that comes out of the workers pocket to be in a Union often they are forced to join, whether they want to or not. Hmmmm….

How to celebrate  – Honor the working class of America. Sleep in instead of working in a parade! Realize the more you get paid, the more you will have to pay. (Figure it out)

November 27th National Pins And Needles Day

Anxious? Nervous? Just can’t wait anymore? If you are feeling any of those things then you will enjoy today, it’s Pins And Needles Day. The idea I suppose comes to us from sitting on pins or needles, not a very comforting thought.

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It actually comes to us from a play on Broadway called, Pins and Needles. It was written by Harold Rome and ran for 1108 performances in 1937 and was introduced by the Ladies Garment Workers’ Union. Now it makes sense! They used pins and needles in their everyday work! And they felt unappreciated and wanted better pay along with being treated like human beings. Imagine that!

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Since then, most people have forgotten about the play but it’s title has continued to be used as a typical cliche from the past. The labor unions form in the early part of the 1900’s had a strong effect on America and I suppose across the world. Most say they were good, some questioned what was gained verses what was lost.

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The world, in the mean time, is filled with pins and needles. Sewing needles, hypodermic needles, needles used to fill balls with air, safety pins, bobby pins, push pins… it’s almost impossible to go through a day without encountering one kind of pin or needle. They have served mankind well. Of course they have also caused damage and are often associated with drug use.

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How to celebrate – Think of all the items held together in your home by pins and needles. See how many different types of pins and needles you can name. Check out the play “Pins and Needles”.

September 4th Labor Day

Today is Labor Day, the day we celebrate the hard workers across the United States. It’s is sometimes called the “workingman’s holiday”. Always falling on the first day in September, this year it happens to be on the 4th.

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Labor Day may have been created by Peter McQuire who was a labor organizer and the General Secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and the Co-Founder of the American Federation of Labor.

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Or it may have been started by Matthew Maguire, the secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York City. Maguire’s involvement seems a little more likely since the day was created within the Central Labor Union on September 5th, 1882. The U.S. Congress officially recognized the holiday on June 28, 1894.

The previously unpublished version of the iconic photograph.
The previously unpublished version of the iconic photograph.

Along with celebrating all those who work, Labor Day marks the end of summer (Not officially) as most of the kids go back to school. Although here in the south kids have been back at school for nearly a month now.

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Whatever reason you find to celebrate Labor Day, remember all those laborers who worked so hard to win it for you. This is their day, and yours if you are one of them.

How to celebrate – Go for the traditional picnic today. Sleep in, after all, you don’t have to be at work! Celebrate today with your co-workers (Wait, isn’t that like an office party?).