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Labor Day: Celebrating the American worker ... or just another day off?

Back in 1882, the very first working stiff's holiday was celebrated in New York City, complete with a parade to show off "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" and a festival to entertain workers and their families. With the rise of labor organizations, the concept caught on with cities, then states. In 1894, Labor Day became a national holiday. Jackson County's unemployment rate of approximately 12 percent affords a good opportunity to learn about the origins of Labor Day and the American worker. Start here:

Helen Jacks

Shady Cove

I've been a worker and owned my own business, and I think most people are just concerned about getting a day off. Most don't pay attention to the meaning of the holiday.

Lindsey Jones


There's no attention paid to it. We're given the day, but I don't know that people expect anything else. The attention that's paid is the honor of the day.

Susan Holt


I'm a teacher, and to me it's the last hurrah of summer, so let's go do something fun. I don't know anybody that does recognize what it's all about.

Mary Landberg


Not all employers will give people a day off on Labor Day. We can't expect employers and others to celebrate us on that day. We have to give ourselves permission to celebrate ourselves, and not just on that day.

Jenny Newkirk


I've never really thought about it or looked into Labor Day, other than it being another day off.

Susan Bizeau


It's been a long time since I thought about what it means. These days, it's really fortunate if you are working. I'm employed, and I'm glad. It's probably a good time to think about Labor Day again.

Trish Trefren


I think we should pay more attention to it, actually. It was established to recognize the worker somehow. I'm a hard worker, and I'd like the recognition.

Amanda Allison


I feel we should pay more attention to the holiday. The people who are in the blue-collar labor force are the foundation of this country. Just think where we would be without our labor force. We should celebrate it for what it is and recognize the workers.

Reader Reaction
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