It’s a common fact that Labor Day in the United States is a holiday recognized on the first Monday in September. It’s a national celebration of the American labor movement, and it marks the official end of summer, complete with pool parties and cookouts. A Labor Day fact, not commonly recognized across the United States is that in most of the rest of the world, Labor Day is celebrated in May, not September.
In more than 80 countries around the world, labor unions and working people take to the streets on May 1st, the holiday most often referred to as International Workers’ Day. The day marks the 1886 Haymarket Affair in Chicago, where police shot and killed several demonstrators who were fighting for the eight-hour workday. Over the next several years, people across the globe began demonstrating on May 1, and in many countries the day became an official holiday.
So why don’t we, in the United States, celebrate Labor Day in May?
Government officials feared instigating anger over the event at Haymarket Square by recognizing the date of May 1st, but politicians and others realized that a holiday honoring workers was absolutely necessary. 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 socialist 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 Labor Day a statutory holiday.
In today’s world, we have many options for communication. We can use Facebook, and Twitter, we can text and share photos on Instagram, but perhaps the most revolutionary advance in communication has come at the hands of Skype. A technology that allows you to video chat with friends and family from all over the world essentially for free. Technology, that not long ago was the stuff of science fiction is now readily available for the masses and is the first feature of AAG’s #HowToTuesday series.
AAG created a video tutorial with step-by-step instructions on how to create a Skype account and how to add your first contact. After watching this video you should be able to create a Skype account and start sharing your smile with friends and family all over the world!
Beaches, new foods, exotic adventures, it’s an English speaking country, new experiences, and tropical islands. These are just a few of the fun and exciting reasons Americans may choose to go to Australia on the Working Holiday Visa. While these are great reasons to go, we wanted to take a look at a few of the more practical reasons to travel down under.
Monday, August 3rd will mark the second annual celebration of J Day, a nationwide event promoting the J programs and enjoying American culture! J Day will take place in 14 locations across the U.S. AAG is sponsoring J Day in New Braunfels, where participants will help with park clean-up and beautification at Landa Park, enjoy an American picnic, compete in fun summer “field day” games and even tube down the Guadalupe river. These events capture the spirit of the day which is “Eat. Play. Give.” We’re excited to participate and help raise awareness about the Exchange Visitor Program.
Women’s Equality Day is a day proclaimed each year by the United States President to commemorate the granting of the vote to women throughout the country. Women in the United States were granted the right to vote on August 26, 1920, when the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution was certified as law. The amendment was first introduced many years earlier in 1878. Every president has published a proclamation for Women’s Equality Day since 1972, the year after Bella Abzug first introduced legislation in Congress. This resolution was passed in 1971 designating August 26 of each year as Women’s Equality Day.
There may be 50 states in America, but there is only one Hawaii. Drawing cultural inspiration from indigenous people, North America and Asian influences it is as diverse as it is expansive.
Hawaii is the 50th and most recent addition to the United States, officially declared a state on August 21, 1959. Hawaii is unique in many regards, as it the only U.S. state located in Oceania and the only one composed entirely of islands, and is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean. Hawaii is the only U.S. state not located in the Americas. Hawaii is made up of 8 main islands and hundreds of smaller islands. The main islands are: Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lānai, Kahoolawe, Maui and the Island of Hawai’i or the big island as it commonly referred to.
It was in a stagnant moment in my life that I chose Australia. I had just graduated college, had zero luck in finding that dream job, and if I was being honest with myself, I really had no clue what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. And then one day as I sat with a plate of chocolate cake, eating away my feelings after being turned down by yet another job interview, I thought to myself “Screw this whole career thing, maybe I should just do some traveling instead.” I knew a change of scenery can do you good. With that, I put the fork down (ok I actually finished my slice of cake first) and headed to Google.
#Fauxpas Friday is back with another story from a worldly traveler who learned that while we may sit atop the food chain, not every animal has gotten that memo.
Matt, a Work Experience Participant in 2013 had an interesting encounter with a few birds that left him hungry for a safer place to eat lunch.
Our newest #Fauxpas Friday entry comes from AAG Australia’s own Anita. Anita started as an international intern with AAG a few years ago and has been with the company ever since. Her story is a good reminder that sometimes you just have to stand up and take a look around.
This week’s story comes to us courtesy of Anna, a current WEA participant and is a good reminder that what you are accustomed to may not be the norm in other parts of the world.