Have a happy Labor Day!

Do you know where Labor Day first originated from? In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. After years of unsafe working conditions, a lack of child labor regulation enforcement, unfair wages for taxing and dangerous jobs, a massive unrest swept the nation. Americans began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay.

labor day

A young girl tends the spinning machine at a cotton mill in North Carolina. Children worked adult hours for pennies in mills and factories all over the United States until the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. Photo: Bettmann/CORBIS

In an attempt to repair ties with American workers, on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed the act making Labor Day a legal holiday into law. Labor Day is recognized as an annual celebration of workers and their achievements in the fight against industry injustices.

United we stand, divided we fall.

We all deserve fair wages, a healthy work environment, and a dose of appreciation. Employers, be sure to remind your workers how much you appreciate their loyalty and hard-work. Employees, take a bow. Give yourself a round of applause and a pat on the back. Remember to celebrate your professional achievements and be proud of how far you’ve come. Most importantly, seek to find more fulfillment in your professional life. Ask for that raise, inquire about that new computer, get that story published, whatever it is that you need to improve your job satisfaction: Ask.

Labor Day also signifies the end of summer is approaching, which deserves a second (maybe even louder) round of applause. A tough summer of fishing has many anglers counting the days until some relief from Florida’s unrelenting heat. I’m sure your A/C will be rejoicing as well in the coming weeks. While forecasts around Florida may be problematic for your fishing agenda, this Labor Day, remember to make time to relax today and enjoy the comforts you’ve worked hard for. You’ve earned it!

Excerpts taken from the History Channel.

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