The Widdershins


Posted on: September 2, 2013


Is it correct to say that?  I’m not sure but I’m going to anyway.  I can say I hope you enjoy your day, whether you are at the beach, or you are having a barbeque or what have you.  I will be enjoying some barbeque from Jim n Nick’s along with their great potato salad and other sides.

However, let’s not forget the reason we celebrate the day.

In the United States, Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

In many countries, the working classes sought to make May Day an official holiday, and their efforts largely succeeded. In the United States and Canada, however, the official holiday for workers is Labor Day in September. This day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre, US President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.

n 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York. Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882,after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada.

Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day

Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation’s trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers’ Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would be associated with the nascent Communist, Syndicalist and Anarchist movements that, though distinct from one another, had rallied to commemorate the Haymarket Affair in International Workers’ Day All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.

So let’s honor the day and the reason we celebrate it.  If you put your mouse over the pictures you’ll see a navigate button which goes forward, back and pauses.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And let’s celebrate with some song.

and one of my favorites:

Enjoy the day Widdershins. This is an open thread.


16 Responses to "CELEBRATE LABOR DAY!"

The slide show is fabulous. Well done.
To my brothers and sisters of SEIU, as well as AFSME, OPEIU, UAW. IBE, Teamsters, AFT, UMW, and all of the other underappreciated trade unions – keep the faith and fight the good fight.

Great post, Fredster. I love the history lesson, the slide show, and the songs. Thank you for reminding us of the reason we celebrate Labor Day lest we forget.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

“John Henry”, about that “steel-drivin’ man”, was a song my father often performed. He would play and sing it really fast, which we kids loved to hear.

This is Leadbelly’s version of “John Henry”.

Phew! I’m so glad that slideshow thing worked okay! I thought I’d seen something in the wp support that mentioned galleries and slideshows so the night I’m supposed to write the post I get a wild hair and start checking support for it. i screwed it up twice but then that made me angry and determined I was gonna get it done! LOL! It was so late by time I was done with that I only added two songs in so thanks Beata and Chat for adding a couple more. 🙂

Diana Nyad makes it to Key West. She is the first to swim the Straits from Havana without a shark cage.

“Which Side Are You On?” performed by its composer, Florence Reece.

How about a movie?

chat@7: That was indeed a good movie!

Wonderful Labor Day post Fredster!

Chat @ #1: great comment! Thank god for unions!

socal@9: Eh? What did you say? I dozed off. Buurrrrpp – too much barbeque and potato salad. 😆

Glad I took my nexium!

@10: Yum. Sounds good.

This is one of my favorite union songs. My mother used to sing it to me.

“Union Maid” – Pete Seeger & Arlo Guthrie

I remember seeing Pete Seeger at McCabes guitar shop half a lifetime ago. He put on a great show. Very entertaining.

Beata@12: Oh my Lord I still have the mental image of Arlo in Alice’s Restaurant! Good song choice Beata!

The bbq was good but I saw they raised their prices again and they’re about to price me out of their place.

Norma Rae—Union!!!!

@Sweet Sue: got dat rite!

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