Labor Day means different things to different people.
For some it is the ultimate long weekend marking the end of summer and the beginning of fall. It is meant for barbequing with friends. Some would say it is the official end of Hot Dog season and the beginning of football season. To others it is the start to back-to-school sales. In fact, it is one of the biggest U.S. sales weekends, forcing retail industry employees to work some of their longest hours. Celebrated annually on the first Monday in September, Labor Day is actually a dedication to the achievements of American workers and the contributions they have made to the prosperity of the country. It was first recognized as a national holiday six days after the 1894 Pullman labor strike was violently broken.
Here are a few facts about Labor Day:
- On the first Labor Day in 1882, 10,000 workers marched in New York City.
- The eight-hour work day wasn’t established until 1916.
- 97% of US employers celebrate Labor Day.
- Oregon was the first state to celebrate Labor Day as a legal holiday in 1887.
- Historians say the expression “no white after Labor Day” comes from when the upper class would return from their summer vacations and stow away their lightweight, white summer clothes as they returned to school and work. This “rule” has been outdated for some time.
- The first Monday of September was chosen because it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.
This day is an opportunity to raise awareness that American workers still make really cool things. From wind turbine generators in Illinois to tunnel boring machines in Ohio to supersonic aircraft in Washington state, America has been one of the largest manufacturing nations in the world for the last 110 years. The current American workforce is resilient and resourceful. Some companies bring high school kids into their office to introduce them to the product development process. They get to tear apart cell phones, sneakers, and other products from their daily lives. The kids are fascinated to see how these products are actually made. It may even inspire them when they get this kind of exposure. Who knows, maybe the next Edison, Ford or Jobs are one of those kids.
When you are out with your friends and family this Labor Day, make sure to snap some pictures or record a video and upload it to some Penless VideoDrop stickers. You can put these stickers on anything – a cup of coffee, a gift card, a greeting card. Your friends will enjoy scanning the VideoDrop and seeing their personal message!
Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration. The rest of us just get up and go to work – Stephen King