Sunday, August 28, 2011

If Ever There was a Year for Labor Day to Return to Its Roots

GOP politicians banned from Labor Day parade.  (Wausau Daily Herald, 8/27/2011)

Excerpt: Republican Rep. Sean Duffy’s office received notice from parade organizers this week that no Republicans would be invited to walk in the parade. Duffy’s chief of staff, Brandon Moody, tells WAOW-TV the congressman was hoping differences could be set aside for the family-friendly event.

All of a sudden the GOP is concerned about family-friendly?

How about a little history lesson?

The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday — a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.

The character of the Labor Day celebration has undergone a change in recent years

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