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Labor Day weekend is here
By David Hall
Sep 6, 2021
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We have a lot of mistaken ideas when we are young and one of mine concerned Labor Day. I used to think that since many people were off work that day it should be called Non-Labor Day. That was completely wrong. This year Labor Day is on Monday, September 6 and it actually is to celebrate the economic and social achievement of the American worker.
 

The first Labor Day Parade was held in New York City in 1882. The day was celebrated with a concert, a picnic, and speeches. More than a century later there is still some controversy as to whether Matthew Maguire or Peter J. McGuire actually was Labor Day's true founder. Maguire was a machinist and organized the first Labor Day parade, McGuire founded the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and was a co-founder of an organization that became the American Federation of Labor. More people nowadays seem to think that McGuire is the true founder but I guess that depends on who you talk with. Labor Day officially became a federal holiday on June 28, 1894 when President Grover Cleveland signed it into law.

In the late 1800s the American worker's life was much different than it is today. The people who complain now would've really had something to complain about back then. In those days, the average American worker worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for a very meager salary. Some children as young as five or six years of age were even in the workforce.

People of all ages, especially the recent immigrants and the very poor, faced extremely unsafe working conditions. Labor unions which first appeared in the late 1700s became more prominent and vocal about the poor treatment of the workers. They began organizing rallies and strikes causing employers to renegotiate hours and pay along with better working conditions.

We just think we have it tough. Sometimes, remember things could always be worse. It reminds me of the man that complained about his feet hurting until he saw a man with no legs.

My intention with this column was to just put together a few facts about Labor Day, however it seems to be a little too serious. Below are ten quotes about work, hopefully they will lighten the mood somewhat:

"Doing nothing is very hard to do, you never know when you're finished."

"Everyone brings joy to this office, some when they arrive and some when they leave."

"Hard work may be the key to success, however many people would rather pick the lock."

I always give 100% at work: 13% on Monday, 22% on Tuesday, 26% on Wednesday, 35% on Thursday, and 4% on Friday.

"I don't always work, however when I do I make sure the boss is around." (That quote reminds me of some of the many Dagwood & Blondie comic strips I've seen.)

"I was picked for my motivational skills...everyone says they have to work a lot harder when I am around."

"The first five days after the weekend are the hardest."

"We will continue having lots of meetings until we figure out why no work is getting done."

"Why is Monday so far from Friday, yet Friday is so close to Monday?"

"You don't have to be crazy to work here, we will train you."

Another holiday, although little known, has just passed. Saturday, September 4 was National Newspaper Carrier's Day.
 
Many of the American print newspapers are not near what they used to be; that's why we have more and more electronic newspapers. I hope there is room for both to continue for years to come... One difference I see is that an electronic newspapers can be much more current than a print newspaper. That's also one of the reasons as to why a lot of major companies are discontinuing their print catalogs and just displaying and promoting their items online. 

For the time being, anyway, we sure don't want to overlook the traditional newspaper carriers, they are the people that deliver the paper to us whether by home delivery or to the stores where we can purchase our newspapers. The job of someone who delivers print newspapers is much tougher than many of us realize. A lot of people who complain about getting a late paper couldn't do the job any better, yet they complain. The carriers have to deal with a multitude of problems including driving many miles in all kinds of weather, often in the dark, while at the same time trying to avoid the cars parked on the street.

President Joe Biden, Walt Disney, Bob Hope, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Ross Perot are just five of the many famous people whose first job was delivering newspapers.

Maybe there should be a day to honor ALL newspaper workers, whether it be an online newspaper or a print newspaper. To put together any newspaper takes a great deal of dedication, long hours, and a lot of skill, much more so than many people realize.

When you read your favorite newspaper, don't forget the many people who are involved in putting that newspaper together and getting the news to us. They are all very much needed and should be appreciated more than I feel they are.

If you have any comments or questions my e-mail address is deh63shs@yahoo.com.