85°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Relax, it’s Labor Day

Monday is Labor Day, and it’s somewhat ironic that a day devoted to celebrating the American workforce is a day that most of us strive to do anything but work.

That’s perfectly OK. In fact, that’s kinda what the holiday is all about.

According to the Department of Labor, Labor Day began in the late 19th century when activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the contributions American workers made to bolster the country’s strength, prosperity and well-being.

It was during the height of the Industrial Revolution when people were working long hours every day of the week and labor unions formed in an effort to promote better and safer conditions for workers.

Its origins can be traced to representatives from two labor unions, both of whom take credit for establishing the holiday.

It was first celebrated in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882, planned by the Central Labor Union. By 1894, 23 additional states adopted the holiday, which was signed into law as a federal holiday in June of the same year by President Grover Cleveland.

In a way, the national holiday was created to help placate protesting masses and keep the wheels of progress turning, according to History.com.

Now, Labor Day also signals the unofficial end of summer. It’s the last hurrah as people enjoy a three-day weekend filled with gatherings of family and friends highlighted by serving all-American favorites like grilled hamburgers, hot dogs and all the trimmings.

These gatherings follow very much in the spirit of the holiday. The original plans called for a parade to show the strength of labor organizations, followed by a festival for the amusement of workers and their families.

Decades later we really haven’t strayed too far from those plans. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

While we definitely enjoy the opportunity to amuse ourselves on Labor Day in Southern Nevada, the holiday also seems to usher in the fall season when cooler temperatures beckon us to spend more time in the great outdoors.

And that’s exactly what we do. This month brings us the return of the Best Dam Wine Walks in downtown and Wurst Fest. In October, we have Art in the Park and the Boulder City Chautauqua to look forward to.

Plus there are plenty of high school sporting events to attend and cheer on your favorite Eagle — or any Eagle for that matter. Football, soccer, tennis, girls volleyball, girls golf and cross-country have all returned to action.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend or in the coming weeks, make it a labor of love. And devote a moment or two to thank those whose long hours, sweat and tears paved the way for the rest of us workers to celebrate the ability to labor without having to labor at all.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Find unity in, through prayer

My dad had a standby joke about prayer that he repeatedly told in various forms for 28 years as a Clark County commissioner. It never failed to bring the house down with laughter.

Enjoy education’s escapades

Monday was a big day for Boulder City’s younger residents.

Be true friend indeed

There’s an old saying that I’ve never been truly able to wrap my head around: “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” I researched the phase’s origin and found references to the earliest possible version. Roman Quintas Ennius wrote circa 300 B.C., “A sure friend is known when in difficulty.” I’ve heard of old sayings but that old?

City needs fair, equitable solution to hangar woes

The local government of Boulder City made an enormous mistake. It’s OK to make a mistake occasionally; what is much more important is to admit it and find a way to correct it.

Blockbuster dream: Movies at historic theater

The Boulder Theatre is a magnificent piece of the city’s history. As the first building in Boulder City with air conditioning, it provided reprieve from the heat for the dam workers. And I think it’s time for the building to be returned to its previous use. Bring back summer movies at the theater.

It’s time to ‘Be Boulder’

Except for those few moments every now and then when the cynical journalist in me creeps out, I like to consider myself a positive person. I look for the best in people and try to ignore, as much as possible, their faults.

First impressions count

It has been quite the move from Pennsylvania to Nevada for little ol’ me (Hi, I’m Owen Krepps, the new guy at the Review). If you’ll spare me the time, I would like to share some of my observations with the town that I have made in my first month living here.

Opinions are like armpits

“Opinions are like armpits … we all have them but think only ours don’t stink!” Author unknown.

Water conservation top priority for city

With the results of the primary election last month I will resume writing this monthly column for the remainder of my term as mayor ending in November. I congratulate Joe Hardy as the next mayor of Boulder City and look forward to a smooth transition in working with Joe.