Back when I was a kid, Labor Day was a very special day. It signaled the last day of summer for us kids. The next day marked the return of school, along with homework, early bedtimes, and no more family camping trips.
But really, I had no idea what Labor Day was actually supposed to represent. Even now, the concept is hazy. Is it a celebration of the nine-to-fivers and all the other workers who keep the country and its economy going? I checked the Department of Labor's web site, and yes, that's exactly what it is. In their words, Labor Day "is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."
The first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882, but only by union workers in New York City, the lucky dogs. Within a few years, celebrating the first Monday in September had expanded to other major cities and then states were recognizing it as an official holiday. In 1894, Congress decided to get with the program and declare it a national holiday.
So now you know (if you didn't already). And with that, I'll sign off. I need to go barbecue some hot dogs. I hope everyone's having a fantastic Labor Day with lots of food and games and relaxation!