How did Labor day come about?

Posted: September 4, 2012 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

“So mister master of the minutia, how is it that Labor day came about?”  my co-worker asked as she sat next to my desk. As a knee jerk reaction I started in the same place as any arm-chair researcher does. I went to google.

Google did as it usually does and directed me to, the Wikipedia page about Labor day.  The Wikipedia page is interesting it almost makes the United States federal holiday known as labor day seem like a knee jerk reaction to the tragedies that happened during the Pullman Strike.   

It has been my experience that knee jerk reactions are usually never good however this reaction created a federal holiday in which we celebrate work by not working, how cool is that holiday?   “The holiday marked the end of a dismal time in American” that is a quote from a History channel write-up on the holiday

When I think about unions and employer relationships I often think about Tom Sawyer and his adventures in whitewashing.   For anyone who doesn’t know Tom convinced a number of neighborhood children to whitewash a fence that he was commissioned by his mother to do himself. Tom convinced his mates that white washing the fence was not work at all.

It seems many years ago that the United States settlers tried their hardest to convince the Native Americans that their lifestyle wasn’t work. When I think about the Native Americans and the way the settlers changed their society I think of a joke.

 The old Cherokee chief sat in his hut on the reservation,
 smoking the ceremonial pipe, eyeing the US government
 officials sent to interview him.  “Chief Two Eagles,” one
 official began, “you have observed the white man for 90
 years.  You have observed his wars and his material wealth.
 You have seen his progress and the damage he has done.”
 The Chief nodded that it was so.  The official continued,
 “Considering all these events, in your opinion, where did
 the white man go wrong?”  The Chief stared at the government
 officials for over a minute, and then calmly replied, “When
 white man found the land, Indians were running it.
 No taxes.
 No debt.
 Plenty buffalo.
 Plenty beaver.
 Women did all the work.
 Medicine man free.
 Indian man spend all day hunting and fishing, all night 
 making love to women.”  The Chief leaned back and smiled, “White
 man dumb enough to think he could improve system like that.”

I know and I apologize for the offensive joke (way to start the work week huh?).  But no matter what system we are a part of Labor will always be needed. So I hope you enjoyed your day off and are ready to work I guess I am.


just some light thoughts to start the work week








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