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Labor Day, did you know? If I knew, I had forgotten them long ago.

September 4, 2009

Canadian FlagLabor Day, did you know?

Labor Day comes to us courtesy of our dear friends and neighbors (or should I say neighbours?) in Canada! Of course in Canada it is Labour Day, and celebrated on the first Monday of September, same as us. But they were the first! Not to signify the end of summer, the first Labour Day in Canada marked the end of labour disputes. (The Nine-Hour Movement). The first Labour Day was held in Hamilton, Canada, then on to Toronto in the 1870’s.

So, why did it migrate to the United States? Well, American labor leader Peter J. McGuire saw a labour festival in Toronto in 1882. He came back here, organized the first US “Labor Day” In New York on September 5th of 1882, the same year.

President Grover Cleveland felt that in the climate of the times, after the deaths of workers during the 1894 Pullman Strkes (they were killed by US Marshals and the US Military), best to push through legislation making Labor Day a national holiday. It was actually signed 6 days after the end of the strike, by unanimous vote! I wonder if that is a first in this country.

Many countries celebrate International Workers’ Day on May 1, or May Day.American Flag

I thought this would be interesting food for thought, as we are eating our way through Labor Day, our Canadian counterparts will be eating their way through Labour Day, as well as the people of Bermuda. Another side note, Labour Day originates from the Eight Hour Day Movement, 8 hours for work, 8 hours for recreation, 8 hours for rest. I am afraid that is a movement we in the real estate business have no concept of! Perhaps for this one day we can try to make up for all the 16 hour days we put in.

What ever you do for the holiday, no matter if you are celebrating Labor Day or Labour Day, make it a good one and especially a safe one! If I knew these things about Labor Day, I had forgotten them long ago. And make sure you have lots of good food!

Lobstah Dinnah

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