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Happy Labor Day!

7 september 2015

The United States almost seem deserted on this national holiday – shops, schools, universities, authorities, consulates, embassies and businesses close down and grant their workers a long weekend.
The holiday is dedicated to the American labor force. Their achievements and efforts are recognized on every first Monday of September since September 5th 1882.  

How and by whom Labor Day was founded is still in dispute. Some records refer to a union member named Peter J. McGuire who was the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and the co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. Reportedly, he strived towards “honoring those who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold”, by which he meant the American worker striving towards serving society. McGuire believed that Labor Day should be “celebrated by a street parade which would publicly show the strength and spirit de corps of the trade and labor organizations.


However, recently conducted research also reveals the name of Matthew Maguire who was a machinist and secretary of a local International Association of Machinists in New Jersey, who supposedly proposed to introduce the holiday in 1882. Matthew Maguire allegedly led several strikes of which most were intended to force the plight of manufacturing workers and their long hours into the public consciousness. By the year of 1882, Maguire had become an important figure in the Central Labor Union of New York.


Alike almost every holiday, Labor Day is also accompanied with an old school etiquette rule not to wear white clothes after the first Monday of September. Where this custom came from is not easy to determine. An article in the Time Magazine once stated that it had to do with the upper classes wearing white during their summer vacations and then having to change back to darker colors once returned to the dusty, sooty city.


Nowadays, Americans will continue to wear all colors before and after the holiday, so there is no particular dress code!


If you are in the U.S at the moment we wish you a great long weekend and Happy Labor Day!



* Information retrieved from here