weather icon Mostly 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.
Hi, my name is Bill…

Having the chance to do a little column once a month is one of the most fun parts about this job. It’s something I look forward to.

Local veterans look north for assistance

During the past several years at least three separate individuals have told me that they would like to finance a building for veterans, a place where all vets could go to just hang out, have meetings, converse and feel at home.

Our road map to success needs your input

Setting and achieving goals is vital to many success stories. Whether it was NFL coaches Andy Reid and Kyle Shanahan starting their seasons wanting to go to the Super Bowl, a mailroom employee working their way up to the CEO of a company, or the desire to make a community better, it helps to have a road map to measure progress. That is where a strategic plan is valuable. A strategic plan can also translate as the community’s road map.

What is Valentine’s Day if not a day of love?

It was likely first celebrated in the eighth century on February 14. How have our relationships as well as love changed since the eighth century? We no longer have the support of a familial culture. It is now more secular.

All the World’s a Stage

Last month, I was privileged to share the State of the City Address with more than 170 people in person and many others watching the live stream. I came up with the idea to do a center stage because the circle brought the pieces all together.

Keep the fun in funny Valentine

If home is where the heart is, and the heart is the symbol of love, what better place to celebrate Valentine’s Day than home sweet home?