Labor Day – Origins and Impact

Wagon Days Ketchum, Idaho 2018
The first Labor Parade – New York, September 5th 1882




















Today is Labor Day.  In the current times it signals the official end of summer. Summer vacations are in the memory books and schooling has geared back into play.  College football uses the weekend to begin its season in earnest.  On some years it shares the day of the anniversary of my marriage to Linda Ruth Hutchins (September 4th 1982).  This year our 36th Anniversary is the following day (Tuesday).

In my native Michigan, the Mackinac Bridge closes to automobile traffic for walkers to cross.  It my home of the Wood River Valley of Idaho, Wagon Days – including the largest non-motorized parade in the United States – comes to an end.

Labor Day came to fore in the early 1880’s as a means for trade and organized labor unions to petition for the 8 hour work day and celebrate the hard work of general laborers.  Two versions of its origins – Knights of Labor and American Federation of Labor – proposed in 1882 the first Monday of September be designated a national holiday.  Oregon was the first state to officially recognize Labor Day.  It became a U.S. Federal Holiday in 1894.  Canada celebrates Labor Day on the same day as the U.S.  About 80 countries celebrate International Workers Day or May Day (May 1st) to recognize the deadly Haymarket Affair in Chicago in 1886 (striking for the 8 hour work day).  Ironically, the U.S. eventually decided picnics, parades, and warm summer weather of early September was the better choice.

On this day, I plan on taking Sage of the Wood River Valley and Willow of the Wood River Valley through training exercises. They are our two Border Collies who joined the Lubeck family on Mother’s Day at the age of 12 weeks.  Shae dog (now age 15) will observe the endeavor.

Linda and I will go on a hike and a picnic with new some friends who moved to the valley this summer.

So what will you be doing this Labor Day?

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