Labor Day seems like it isn’t as important anymore. I’ve only noticed a few mentions about it so far this year even though it’s only a couple of weeks away. It occurred to me that some people may not know what it is if they’re just entering the workforce. Here are the basics.
What is Labor Day and Where does it take place?
Labor Day is an annual American holiday that celebrates and recognizes the hard work and achievements of workers all across the United States. In other countries, it is called international workers’ day and happens at a different time.
When does it happen?
In the United States Labor Day is always on the first Monday in September. It comes with a three-day weekend that coincides with summer ending and fall starting. Many people also consider it the time when school goes back in, though most U.S. schools start back in August. Others look forward to it because it precedes the start of the yearly football season. Labor Day 2022 is on Monday, September 5th.
In other countries, it is called May Day or International Workers’ Day and it happens on May 1st.
Why is it a holiday?
Labor Day was a victory for activists who wanted workers to be recognized and appreciated for all their hard labor through the year. The labor movement was pushing to reduce most work shifts from 12 or 10 hours down to the 8 that most Americans now do. Various events and protests happened across the country from 1850-1886. Then the Haymarket Affair came, forcing employers and the government to realize the labor movement wasn’t going away. It resulted in 8-hour shifts being adopted as the norm for most businesses and government jobs. It still took almost another decade of states celebrating Labor Day individually for the government to make it an official federal holiday.
Who started Labor Day
There are conflicting reports on that one. Some documents claim it was the Secretary of new York’s’ Central Labor Union, Matthew Maguire. Others claim it was Peter J. McGuire, the co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. The similarity of their last names may have caused this confusion.
Who celebrates it?
Labor Day is celebrated by American families and employees throughout the country. Other nations also celebrate their workers, though it is called by a different name. Labor Day recognizes the achievements and hard work of the people who keep their country running and the families who miss them while they’re gone.
How is it celebrated?
Most American cities host parades and firework shows, drawing in tens of thousands for a good time where street vendors sell treats, and the city still makes money even though their workers are off. American families get together for picnics and barbeques where they spend time with the workers they don’t get to see much because they’re always working. Others take the day to rest and relax with their favorite activity.
The First Labor Day
The first Labor Day was Tuesday, September 5th, 1882, in New York City. It wasn’t an official holiday then. It took 12 more years of other states recognizing it and giving their employees that day off for the government to officially declare it a national holiday. That happened June 28th, 1894.
Oregon was the first state to make it an official holiday in 1887. Four more states (New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey) followed the same year. Other states added it over the next 7 years, making the government understand how much the people wanted it.
I hope you enjoy your Labor Day weekend. Maybe spend it with a good book or a classic film, like the ones below or in the sidebar.
It's That Time of the Year Again
Breakfast and lunches have to be covered. Will your child have both at school or just one? Will they be packing those or buying them? Packing is cheaper, but it's not for everyone or every child. Many schools now allow you to prepay so your student isn’t embarrassed by forgetting to bring money.
If you prefer to pack, I recommend all 3 of the products above. I used the same system for 20 years with my own 3 kids. The Rubbermaid set holds the main foods, and the long blue ice pack keeps both layers chilled. The blue thermos can be filled with boiling soups that will still be warm for the kids at lunchtime. The MIER Lunchbox has plenty of room for those items, along with a baggie of silverware, napkins, condiment packs, and anything else you want to add. It also can be snapped to the straps of a backpack to keep it from being lost.
Uniforms and shoes. Dress codes are mandatory at all schools. If you need uniforms, it will be listed on the school website and in the student handbook. Be sure to buy comfortable clothes and shoes. Items that are too big or too small can cause a child frustration that they don’t need.
It might also be time for a haircut! Most school allow students to wear their hair however they want. Some don’t. Check the student handbook to be sure.
Each class has a required supply list for the student. Many classes also ask you to send in supplies for the classroom, like paper towels and hand sanitizer. Check their website during the month before school starts. Those lists are usually out a few weeks beforehand, so you have time to budget in the supplies you need.
8.) Phones and Other Devices
Some schools allow students to have their phones or tablets on, while others do not. Some may require them to be stored in lockers until recess or study hall. Be sure to read the handbook for answers on how your school wants you to handle phones and other devices.
Forms, shot records, and special papers are a nightmare during that first week. The kids come home with folders full of paperwork that parents have to cover. If you have those forms and records already stored in a folder at home, it will make it all go a lot easier.
10.) Fees and Other Costs
Most school like you to pay for the yearly fees in the first week. There are other costs that also come due then, like activity and club fees, prepaying for lunches, paying off last year’s balances, and equipment you may be getting through the school.
Always ask if they have homework when they get home and set a schedule now. By the end of the first week, homework is well underway in most grades. If you set a homework schedule, it will help your student. Making them get it done during their afterschool snack was always my preferred way to go. Then they have the rest of the evening without having to rush and do it right before bed, or worse, in the morning on the bus.
12.) Weather Needs
We all know Mother Nature does whatever she wants. Check the weather report and hope it’s right. Don’t forget to send in that umbrella, the sunscreen, a jacket, or their gloves and scarf. I recommend bookmarking the National Weather Radar and checking it daily for changes.
Sadly, this needs to be a priority. Have multiple discussions so your child knows what to do if they’re being bullied or if a dangerous situation happens while they’re at school. Mass shootings, danger from strangers, fights between students, and assaults by staff members need to be addressed. I wish we lived in a world where this isn’t needed. Until that happens, talk to your kids so they know what to do. It might just save their lives.
A Complete Back-to-School Checklist
Download the checklist and print it out.
"We all learn by experience but some of us have to go to summer school.— Peter De Vries"
Have you preordered your copy yet? Here are those links:
Barnes and Noble
Get Caught Up
Do you need to get caught up on the LAW series?
Here are the links to each book’s page so you can pick the store of your choice.
The Survivors (1)
Adrian's Eagles (2)
Nuclear Ashes (3)
Dystopian Stand (4)
Fight for Survival (5)
Carved in Stone (6)
Shattered Dreams (7)
Dearly Departed (8)
Last Call (9)
Setting Sail (10)
Apocalypse Winds (11)
Avoiding Fate (12)
For the Future (13)
Riding the Waves (14)
Hard Ground (15)
Facing Destiny (16)
Stopping Time (17)
Marc and Angie
Marc and Dog
As you can see, I’m staying busy these days. I might even get book#20 out by the end of the year. I’ll let you know on that one. I hope your summer has been amazing.
Happy reading, Eagles!
Shtf fiction, armageddon, nuclear war, post apocalyptic survival, dystopian military fiction, end of the world, science fiction series
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