September 4th, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

Labor Day is the bookend on the opposite end of summer from its holiday beginning, Memorial Day.

July Fourth is summer’s early peak, with the promise of long light-filled days ahead. But Labor Day is summer’s last gasp, the moment I dreaded as a child because it marked the end of vacation and the start of the school year. Spiffy new clothes, a shiny bookbag, freshly sharpened pencils, and the promise of the beautiful autumn leaves’ arrival were nice. But they couldn’t make up for the fact that a new school year was beginning. Where oh where had the summer gone?

And it goes even more quickly these days. But let’s celebrate the fact that we don’t have to worry about the start of school anymore—except, perhaps, for the teachers among you.

Here’s wishing you all a Happy Labor Day! Barbecues, picnics, parades, beach, just hanging out in your yard, whatever you desire. And for the historically-minded among you, some information the origins of the holiday.

10 Responses to “Happy Labor Day!”

  1. Back to School - American Digest Says:

    […] Spiffy new clothes, a shiny bookbag, freshly sharpened pencils, and the promise of the beautiful autumn leaves’€™ arrival were nice. But they couldn’€™t make up for the fact that a new school year was beginning. Where oh where had the summer gone? – – neo-neocon […]

  2. Frog Says:

    Labor Day was created as a sop to labor unions.

    Memorial Day has a quite different origin, created by women memorializing their lost men, in the days when the South was devastated and there was no financial rescue for those who had lost their husband’s labor and income, usually the sole family support.

    From Wiki:
    On June 3, 1861 Warrenton, Virginia was the location of the first Civil War soldier’s grave ever to be decorated, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper article in 1906. In 1862 women in Savannah, Georgia decorated Confederate soldiers’ graves oer the Savannah Republican. The 1863 cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, was a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. On July 4, 1864, ladies decorated soldiers’ graves according to local historians in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania. and Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day.
    In April 1865, following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, commemorations were ubiquitous. The more than 600,000 soldiers of both sides who died in the Civil War meant that burial and memorialization took on new cultural significance. Under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had taken shape.

  3. steve walsh Says:

    Right back at you Neo.

    I am not sure if I live in New England because I like changing seasons and weather, or I like changing seasons and weather because I’ve lived in New England so long (all my life).

    Either way, I always love this time of year.

  4. Ralph Kinney Bennett Says:

    New “Fight Fascism” T-shirt, shiny new backpack, sharp new iPhone,, and the promise of a sexually confused kid at the desk in front of you. Ah, school daze.

  5. Yancey Ward Says:

    For me, Labor Day didn’t have that back-to-school shadow lying over it since where I lived, school started around August 20th every year.

    When I was between 7-13 or so, the first of August was really the date that put it in my head that the dreaded school year was about to start, but after 13 I started to date that dread from the mid-point of the vacation- around July 4th!

  6. Yancey Ward Says:

    When I was still living in western CT, I always loved the period from Labor Day until about the end of September. The leaves start turning, and there is still nice warmth during the days with a comfortable chill at nights- an important thing for me since I was adamant about not spending on AC. The only bad thing as far as the weather went, it could be quite common to go through a week or two where the temperatures would be cloudy/rainy in the mid 60s with 100% humidity. The house would become kind of dank unless I turned on the heating system.

  7. Mike K Says:

    My son is off to a big fire near Yosemite today. He’ll be a supervisor but still no picnic today for him.

    I spent a year in New Hampshire back in 1994-95. Fall was nice but it was 26 below zero Thanksgiving morning.

    I’ll take 101 in Tucson today.

  8. John Guilfoyle Says:

    In Australia, it was Father’s Day.
    So in my mixed up bi-continental world…my wife remembered her labour & I got presents and some tremendous joy from all my girls.

  9. MollyNH Says:

    @ MIKE 26 below before thanksgiving ??? Gets cold in NH but that would qualify as a real record smasher. My youngest son was born on Nov 28th &I kind of dreaded that cold weather delivery but most magically the temperatures were close to 60 the whole week we awaited him & the crowning jewel was the record 68 degrees when we brought him home! A most warm NE welcome for that little dude, named Mike BTW4

  10. AesopFan Says:

    We are ping-ponging between 60 and 80 degrees, but Monday was lovely so we went out in the yard and labored.

    Mike K Says:
    September 4th, 2017 at 5:29 pm
    My son is off to a big fire near Yosemite today. He’ll be a supervisor but still no picnic today for him.
    * * *
    We are seeing the smoke in Denver. My cub scouts (last night) were impressed by the huge orange sun in the west, and then by the huge orange full moon in the east.

    Best wishes for the safety of your son and his crewmates.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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