Labor Day is about Hard Work & Family

By | September 7, 2020

[September 7, 2020]  You’ve probably been told that Labor Day in the United States is a unique tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of America.  And, yes, that is true.  But another perspective says that it’s also about hard work and family.

We should ask ourselves why.  Why is it that we give special recognition to this day?  Why is it so crucial that Labor Day is one of the ten federally recognized holidays?  There are, in my opinion, two interrelated conditions why this is the case.

The first condition is that, in America, we live in a capitalistic nation where hard work, honesty, loyalty, and staying out of trouble with the law are highly valued.  The vital force of labor, labor given freely without reservation, added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known.  Such traditional ideas are tied closely to our economic circumstance and political democracy.

The second condition is that we also believe deeply in our families, our religions, and also the intrinsic value of work – as it is a precondition for supporting our family.  Christianity is the spark that gave our nation its original drive and is the foundation for what Americans believe in.  Christianity and Judaism are powerful forces that helped make America into an exceptional nation.

It should not be lost on anyone that when the idea of a special day for labor was set aside, it was to recognize free labor.  That labor was gained traction after the U.S. Civil War was fought to end slavery.  The very first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on September 5, 1882, in New York City.  It was observed under the plans of the Central Labor Union.  By mid-1894, Congress saw fit to pass an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.

We should, nonetheless, stop and recall from our history that in the late 1800s, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks to eke out a basic living.  Children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories, and mines, earning a fraction of their adult counterpart wages.

The union movement was instrumental in helping improve the conditions of the average manufacturer worker.  It was a difficult time.  Violence was not uncommon.  But as labor victories in the workplace progressed, conditions improved slowly, but they did improve.  The idea of a “workingman’s holiday” became a reality and we should all celebrate that fact.

Today, Labor Day is celebrated with parties, street parades, and athletic events around the nation.  Remember, those that came before us who worked hard to see to it that we are a mighty nation, one that has helped bring prosperity to the world.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

18 thoughts on “Labor Day is about Hard Work & Family

  1. Wilson Cox

    Once again, a superior blog post about what people are really about and what Labor Day is supposed to be.

  2. Harry Donner

    Happy Labor Day to all workers in America and to all who fully support our workplace workers. Keep up your efforts because it is you who are making us a great nation.

    1. Kenny Foster

      Let’s not quibble, more great jobs reports for America. The importance of this means more and more are getting back to work. When people “work” they are happier, their families are better off, and our communities do better. Anyone who doesn’t believe this is an idiot and a sucker for Marxism.

  3. Stacey Borden

    Well written and very spot-on blog post. I learned a bit about Labor Day but also that it was adopted only after the US Civil War.

    1. Eric Coda

      Yep, good point Stacey. I too found out something but more importantly it gave me some motivation to research labor day a bit more. America’s current workforce stands solidly on the shoulders of those who came before us. Labor Day is a hard-won example of how far we’ve come since the early days of the Industrial Revolution

  4. Karl J.

    Freedom. …… that is what Labor Day is about. You can work anywhere you want, as long as you meet the requirements of the job. It’s about competition because when competition is gone, that means that slavery returns in its many forms.

  5. Willie Shrumburger

    Labor Day is about FREE labor. I know you mean labor that is freely given (for compensation and not forced like in slavery). I just wanted to clarify. Free means your labor is not forced.

    1. JT Patterson

      Yes, thanks Willie. True. Labor Day was also a celebration that slavery was over in the US. And… we are showing that it is unnecessary.

  6. Valkerie

    Wow, very good summary of what Labor Day is about. Thank you General Satterfield.

  7. Doug Smith

    Labor Day is very special but I think that most Americans really don’t understand either the background or real significance of Labor Day.

    1. Max Foster

      Sad but so very true. We are raising a generation of babies who have never experienced real tragedy or had a difficult time doing anything. Rather, the younger generations are given a trophy for just showing up … or a reward for just existing. That’s not, obviously, good enough. They now believe they are our moral superiors. Such thinking is, in itself, a tragedy. One day there will be a reckoning.

      1. Greg Heyman

        Max, as usualy, you’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head. Our young are “protesting” in the streets calling for burning it down (anything they don’t like). But these same very young have been suckered into Marxist ideology and Nazi methodology.

    2. Yusaf from Texas

      Yes, I agree Doug and today is just a holiday for a good time. We don’t teach history anymore. History has been hijacked by leftists who want to hide the American past and then destroy our country.

  8. Army Captain

    Happy LABOR DAY to all. I’m off today and with my family. Nothing could be better.

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