weather icon Clear

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.
Smart development key to sustainable future

I commend my friend and colleague Mayor (Kiernan) McManus for his comments in the Boulder City Review on Sept. 1 regarding his focus on conservation to best serve the residents of Boulder City. Together, our cities have a long-standing commitment to conservation and sustainability.

Solutions to nation’s woes just take action

What if you had solutions to a multitude of problems? Would you share what you knew or would you hesitate because the facts were contrary to the status quo?

Terrorists killed more than people

Sept. 11 changed us. And not necessarily for the better.

Dont let city become ‘Pothole Paradise’

Two years ago at a public event, a friend got in my face and in an uncharacteristic, agitated voice said, “Fix my street!” Initially I thought he was joking. But after two attempts to change the subject, I realized he wasn’t laughing.

Court of public opinion too quick to judge

Most people know me for my former Throwback Thursday columns with the Boulder City Review and some people may know of me from my failed run for City Council. What people don’t know, however, is that I used to work for actor Johnny Depp through a contract I had running events at multiple properties on the Las Vegas Strip. I was Mr. Depp’s private dining planner for all of his Las Vegas trips, including events with his family.

Options for conservation must be explored

Fall weather will be a welcome change in the next few weeks, it has been a hot summer. Some of the hottest temperatures on record for Southern Nevada. And most of those records have been over the past few years. We can look at the changes in water levels at Lake Mead and know that things are very different from any other time in our lifetimes.

Agostini, Eagles Closet help those in need

Since the new school year began at the beginning of the month, students and staff members at Boulder City High School have made a variety of changes to help ensure their health and welfare in the wake of COVID-19.

Water’s low cost makes it expendable

Water is essential to life. Humans and every living species can go without many things but not without water; yet many take water for granted. We water our lawns, fill our swimming pools, wash our cars, take long showers, hose down our driveways and rarely even think about the costs involved. Why? Because water is too convenient and, most importantly, inexpensive.

City long devoted to conservation, environmental issues

The water level at Lake Mead fell to 1,068 feet in July 2021. That is the lowest level since the lake was first filled following the Hoover Dam’s dedication in 1935. This month, the federal government has declared a water shortage on the Colorado River for the first time, triggering cutbacks in water allocations to surrounding states from the river.

Teachers’ impact lasts a lifetime

It’s not very often that you get the chance to let someone know what an impact they made on your life, with perhaps the exception of your parents, if you’re lucky. This is especially true for teachers and mentors you’ve met early in your education or career because you may not realize until many years later what type of effect they had on your choices.