Labor Day is that point in the year when we pause to thank the American workforce for the efforts toward the country’s economy. It is celebrated on the first Monday in September and was originally designed to honor the contribution of organized labor.
It became a national holiday in June 1894 when President Grover Cleveland signed the bill into law. Congressional acceptance deals only with federal employees allowing them to have a day’s holiday. Each state must then declare its own legal holidays, including Labor Day.
Of course, not everyone gets the day off. National parks are open and staffed. Many stores are open, including groceries and department stores, as well as essential workers.
For many Labor Day signals the end of summer, just like Memorial Day is its unofficial beginning. However, there are lots of days of great weather ahead before the winter winds start to blow. In fact, you could stretch the Labor Day idea by scheduling a tour of a local factory, farm, orchard, or business sometime during the month. If you do holiday and birthday shopping early, take advantage of the weekend sales and opt for American-made if possible. Support local businesses even if you are spending a few dollars more.
Some of the more traditional activities over Labor Day weekend include:
- Barbecue or picnic with family and friends
- Neighborhood block party
- Fireworks displays
- DIY projects
A bit less conventional but still could be fun:
- Backyard camp out.
- Great for younger kids because bathrooms are accessible
- Can be a kids only sleepover or a family activity
- Listen to the night sounds when traffic is gone
- Be a local tourist
- Take a guided tour of the city
- Explore local landmarks
- Initiate a conversation about a dream job. No restrictions so it doesn’t matter if it pays enough, if there are physical constraints, or knowledge base. What would make you happiest to do every day of your life.
Labor Day is also the beginning for some fall sports. The NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) teams traditionally play their first games and the NFL kicks off on the Thursday following Labor Day. In 2021 it will be Tampa Bay vs. Dallas on September 9. If you are keeping track, Super Bowl Sunday is January 29, 2022. NASCAR is at Darlington Raceway for the second of its three-race weekend on September 4 and 5. The U. S. Open tennis tournament is sold out for the weekend.
This article wouldn’t be complete unless we talked about the adage of not wearing white after Labor Day. In the late 19th century, it was fashionable to travel to resorts for the summer. That is where light colored frocks and men’s suits were all in style. When Labor Day arrived, it was time to return to the city and put away all the summer clothing and return to more sedate outfits. Now in the 21st century, anything goes…so wear whatever color you want.