Dear Friends,

I find myself annoyed, shocked and concerned when interviewers from Fox News go out into happenings like Spring Break and ask college students if they know things like “Who did we fight in the Revolutionary War to gain our independence as a Nation” and they answer Russia or have no clue?

Apparently Civics, US history, and much more are either no longer taught or not assimilated by many American Students which is a bit disconcerting.

That being said, today is Labor Day. As we celebrate this American tradition, I feel it is appropriate to discuss the history of Labor Day and why it is a National Holiday.

Using my trusty Google, here’s what I found: 

“Observed the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday is rooted in the late 19th Century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being. One of the reasons we are the greatest country in the world was our remarkable labor movement.”

“A fellow named Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, New Jersey, proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.”

“Before it was a federal holiday, Labor Day was recognized by labor activists and individual states. After municipal ordinances were passed in 1885 and 1886, a movement developed to secure state legislation. New York was the first state to introduce a bill, but Oregon was the first to pass a law recognizing Labor Day, on February 21, 1887. During 1887, four more states – Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York – passed laws creating a Labor Day holiday. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday.”

“On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday. Indeed Folks, The labor movement is a tremendous part of what made our country what it is and why we celebrate it as a National Holiday.”

Traditional hamburgers and hot dogs with family friends, often with a few beers are enjoyed by many Americans with an extra day off.

I pray that we are always able to maintain our prosperity and freedoms and are able to celebrate them as we do today.

There you have it folks.

HAPPY Labor Day from the Coastal Network.

Sincerely Yours,

JUDSON Bennett-Coastal Network