Labor Day - September 1, 2014

labor day

As you know, Labor Day is considered a national holiday and traditionally represents the end of summer. The holiday at the core signifies the national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. Here are some things you might not know and encourage you pass along to our international participants.

As described on the Department of Labor’s official website.

More than 100 years after the first Labor Day observance, there is still some doubt as to who first proposed the holiday for workers. Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” But Peter McGuire’s place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

Check out the DOL’s Historian on the History of Labor Day

We hope you use this national holiday as an opportunity to host a company event and share your company or family traditions around this holiday. Whether it is a good old fashion picnic in the park or firework show, please take a moment to impact your international participant story of their American summer of 2014. And for all those that have to work on Labor Day because you are in the service industry we thank you for your service to this nation!

It Couldn’t Be Done

– A Poem By Edgar Guest
labor daySomebody said it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing and he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one has ever done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took of his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing and he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.
There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you, one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Edgar Guest came to the United States in 1891 with his parents from England. His first poem was published when he was 17 years old and his work has been described as sentimental and optimistic. His poems reflect the American spirit and work ethic that made America great. We hope you and your staff enjoy one of his Labor Day Poems!

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labor day

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