Global Language and World Culture
Labor Day

Labor Day

Labor day
Labor day quotes and history

Labor Day, an article that explains the history, the major facts, the meaning, the celebrations and quotes to honor and recognize the American labor movement and the works and contributions of laborers to the development and achievements of the United States.

Labor Day in New York and in the USA is a bit like the equivalent of our International Workers’ Day to be celebrated on May 1 of each year, a tradition that continues to this day in more than 60 countries. In America it is a national holiday which in the Big Apple brings folkloristic and festive events along the streets of the city . It is officially celebrated on the first Monday of September (Monday 2 September 2024), even if the celebration extends to the entire weekend preceding it, with the organization of various events and manifestations.

Our labour preserves us from three great evils – weariness, vice, and want.
Voltaire, Candide

The ceaseless labour of your life is to build the house of death.
Michel de Montaigne

He who works with his hands is a laborer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hands and his head and his heart is an artist.
Saint Francis of Assisi

I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.
Eugene Debs

You count the waves. (Labour in vain.)
Proverb, (Latin)

To have one’s labour for one’s pains.

The poor have to labour in the face of the majestic equality of the law, which forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.
Anatole France

In vain our labours are, whatsoe’er they be, unless God gives the Benediction.
Robert Herrick

What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones, The labor of an age in pilèd stones, Or that his hallowed relics should be hid, Under a star-y-pointing pyramid?
Dear son of memory, great heir of fame, What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
John Milton

The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labour is immense.
Arnold Bennett

Every job from the heart is, ultimately, of equal value. The nurse injects the syringe; the writer slides the pen; the farmer plows the dirt; the comedian draws the laughter. Monetary income is the perfect deceiver of a man’s true worth.
Criss Jami

Enable every woman who can work to take her place on the labour front, under the principle of equal pay for equal work.
Mao Zedong

No man needs sympathy because he has to work, because he has a burden to carry. Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
Theodore Roosevelt

Even in the meanest sorts of labor, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony the instant he sets himself to work.
Thomas Carlyle

Even in the meanest sorts of labor, the whole soul of a man is composed into a kind of real harmony the instant he sets himself to work.
Thomas Carlyle

We’ve no use for intellectuals in this outfit. What we need is chimpanzees. Let me give you a word of advice: never say a word to us about being intelligent. We will think for you, my friend. Don’t forget it.
Louis-Ferdinand Celine

The fruit derived from labor is the sweetest of all pleasures.
Luc De Clapiers

A man’s best friends are his ten fingers.
Robert Collyer

Labor is man’s greatest function. He is nothing, he can do nothing, he can achieve nothing, he can fulfill nothing, without working.
Orville Dewey

He that hath a trade hath an estate; He that hath a calling hath an office of profit and honor.
Benjamin Franklin

Labor is the source of all wealth and all culture.
Ferdinand Lassalle

Who will not suffer labor in this world, let him not be born.
John Florio

I tell you, sir, the only safeguard of order and discipline in the modern world is a standardized worker with interchangeable parts. That would solve the entire problem of management.
Jean Giraudoux

Excellence in any department can be attained only by the labor of a lifetime; it is not to be purchased at a lesser price.
Samuel Johnson

Labor is the curse of the world, and nobody can meddle with it without becoming proportionately brutalized.
Nathaniel Hawthorne

If a little labor, little are our gains. Man’s fortunes are according to his pains.
Robert Herrick

Labor is the instituted means for the methodical development of all our powers under the direction and control of the will.
Josiah Gilbert Holland

Life gives nothing to man without labor.

Every man is dishonest who lives upon the labor of others, no matter if he occupies a throne.
Robert Green Ingersoll

Take not from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned.
Thomas Jefferson

Labor, if it were not necessary for existence, would be indispensable for the happiness of man.
Samuel Johnson

Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them.
Joseph Joubert

Syzygy, inexorable, pancreatic, phantasmagoria — anyone who can use those four words in one sentence will never have to do manual labor.
W.P. Kinsella

Precious gems are profoundly buried in the earth and can only be extracted at the expense of great labor.
Sri Anandamayi Ma

I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.
John D. Rockefeller

The miracle of the seed and the soil is not available by affirmation; it is only available by labor.
Jim Rohn

It is not, truly speaking, the labor that is divided, but the men divided into mere segments of men, broken into small fragments and crumbs of life, so that all the little piece of intelligence that is left in a man is not enough to make a pin, or a nail, but exhausts itself in making the point of a pin or the head of a nail.
John Ruskin

There is no real wealth but the labor of man.
Percy Bysshe Shelley

Labor is still, and ever will be, the inevitable price set upon everything which is valuable.
Samuel Smiles

If a man loves the labor of his trade apart from any question of success or fame, the Gods have called him.
Robert Louis Stevenson

The biggest labor problem is tomorrow.
Brigham Young

Labor Day, facts and quotes
Labor Day, facts and quotes

Labour Day (Labor Day in the United States) is an annual holiday to celebrate the achievements of workers. Labour Day has its origins in the labour union movement, specifically the eight-hour day movement, which advocated eight hours for work, eight hours for recreation, and eight hours for rest.

For most countries, Labour Day is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers’ Day, which occurs on 1 May. For other countries, Labour Day is celebrated on a different date, often one with special significance for the labour movement in that country. Labour Day is a public holiday in many countries.

Labor Day is a federal holiday and falls on the first Monday of September every year. It was initially organized to celebrate labor unions and their contributions to the United States’ economy.

Labor Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, so all Government offices, organizations, and schools and most businesses are closed. Many cities, towns, and neighborhoods organize and hold public celebrations such as firework displays, picnics, and barbecues.

Labor Day 2020 will occur on Monday, September 7. Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Labor Day weekend also symbolizes the end of summer for many Americans, and is celebrated with parties, street parades and athletic events.

Many residents take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend to take a last summer trip. Because of this, there may be traffic congestion on highways and at airports. Public transit systems do not usually operate on their regular timetables.

For students, Labor Day is the last chance to take a break before school starts again for the fall session. The American football season begins on or around Labor Day, and many teams play their first game of the season during the Labor Day weekend.

The first Labor Day was held in 1882, and its origins stem from the Central Labor Union’s desire to create a holiday for workers. It became a federal holiday in 1894.

Originally, it was intended that the day would be filled with a street parade to allow the public to appreciate the trade and labor organizations’ work. After the parade, a festival was to be held to amuse local workers and their families. In later years, prominent men and women had speeches. This is less common now but is sometimes seen in election years.

One of the reasons for choosing to celebrate this on the first Monday in September, and not on May 1, which is common in the rest of the world, was to add a holiday in the long gap between Independence Day in July and Thanksgiving in November.

In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages.

Labor Day parades and celebrations
Labor Day parades and celebrations

People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.

As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay.

Many of these events turned violent during this period, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886, in which several Chicago policemen and workers were killed. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday,” celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later, when a watershed moment in American labor history brought workers’ rights squarely into the public’s view. On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives.

On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide. To break the Pullman strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers.
Who Created Labor Day?

In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed it into law. More than a century later, the true founder of Labor Day has yet to be identified.

Many credit Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday.

Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings. For many Americans, particularly children and young adults, it represents the end of the summer and the start of the back-to-school season.

Labor Day is in good company since the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968 changed several holidays to ensure they would always be observed on Mondays so that federal employees could have more three-day weekends, and so other holidays that always fall on Mondays include: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, George Washington’s Birthday (or “President’s Day”); Memorial Day; Columbus Day.

Here are the major U.S. holidays. In some cases, businesses, government offices, and schools will be closed, and also the International Days list.

New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day
MLK Jr. Day
President’s Day
Valentine’s Day
St. Patrick’s Day
Easter/Spring Break
Mother’s Day
Memorial Day
Father’s Day
4th of July
Labor Day
Christmas Eve
Christmas Day
International Days List