Labor Day 2018

Labor Day Parade, float of Women’s Trade Union League, New York, 1908

If you have today off as a paid holiday – or if you are working today but get a paid day later to make up for it, or if you get time and a half or doubletime for working today, it’s thanks to the labor movement that is celebrated today.

And if you don’t, that might be thanks to the way that the labor movement has been beaten back in recent years.

Today also marks the unofficial end of summer in the United States, even though the lines between seasons have gotten much blurrier over the years. School used to start after Labor Day and now it starts before. Football season still officially begins, but baseball season used to be winding down towards the playoffs about this point. Now the regular season has another month to run before the playoffs, and the World Series doesn’t begin until the end of October.

But still, no matter what else is happening, or what the weather is doing, Labor Day still marks the beginning of the end. The year always feels like its winding down from this point.

If you have a three-day weekend, be sure to enjoy the last gasp of summer. After all, it’s only 58 days to Halloween!

Labor Day 2017

Hurricane Harvey near peak intensity prior to landfall in southern Texas on August 25

For those actually celebrating this Labor Day weekend, Happy Labor Day! Today marks the unofficial end of summer.

However, those living in Houston Texas, or anywhere within the path of Hurricane Harvey, are probably still laboring in one way or another, either to mop up damage, or just to figure out what to do now that the storm if over and the recovery has barely begun.

We have friends in the Houston area, and are grateful that their ride through the hurricane was relatively mild. Their house is on high ground, and they suffered only minor damage to one car. They were lucky, when so many people were not.

Ironically, at this time last year, when I wrote my Labor Day post we were tracking the path of Hurricane Hermine. As trends go, this one sucks. And very, very definitely blows.

Stay safe, wherever you are spending your Labor Day.

Labor Day 2016

hurricane hermine

Welcome to the unofficial end of summer.

Once upon a time, Labor Day weekend was the last free weekend kids had before school started and homework began. Today many schools start in August, and Labor Day weekend isn’t quite what it used to be. But it is still a 3-day weekend and most places usually have good weather.

Although when we lived in Anchorage, Labor Day Weekend usually heralded the sighting of “Termination Dust” – the first visible snowfall on the Chugach Mountains that surround the Anchorage bowl. It was an unmistakable, but unwelcome, sign that winter was coming.

This year might be different. As I write this on Thursday, Hurricane Hermine is headed for the Florida Gulf Coast, which means a whole lotta rain in the southeast as it tracks its way across Florida and south Georgia heading for the Carolinas. Atlanta is a bit too far north for the actual hurricane, but I expect plenty of stormy weather on its fringe.

I also want to know who is responsible for the name “Hermine”. It should be Hermione. She brought plenty of bad weather to the forces of darkness in the Harry Potter books. A hurricane named in her honor would be totally appropriate.

I hope you are having a terrific Labor Day Weekend, wet or dry.

 

Labor Day 2015

rosie the riveter poster

Today is Labor Day in the U.S., and Labour Day in Canada. It’s a holiday that traditionally marks the end of summer in this part of the northern hemisphere. In the U.S., it also marks one of the last three-day weekends of the year that lots of people get. Columbus Day isn’t as widely observed, and Veterans Day is always November 11. This year it’s a Wednesday.

So here we are, the last weekend of Summer. This also used to be the last day that it was fashionable to wear white until next Memorial Day. How things have changed on the fashion front!

In Atlanta, it means that the daily temperatures have dropped from the mid-90s to the mid-80s. The outside is getting more tolerable again. Whoopee!

I was tempted to just post a “Gone Fishing” notice for today, but I don’t think I could catch anything as adorable as the kittens those two fishermen caught in Alabama last week.

So in case you missed it on YouTube, here is the video of two guys who turned fishing for catfish into fishing for kittenfish:

Labor Day 2014

In the U.S. the first Monday in September is designated as a holiday. For Labor Day, a whole lot of us get the day off from, well, labor. Or at least the kind that generates a paycheck.

681px-LABOR_DAY_1942_-_NARA_-_535654

The image above is from Wikimedia Commons, and was created by the Office for Emergency Management, Office of War Information, Domestic Operations Branch for Labor Day in 1942.

Which makes it both a terrific poster and domestic war propaganda at the same time.

Also very apropos for today, over the weekend we went to MOHAI, the Seattle Museum of History and Industry. While we went for the tasty Chocolate exhibition, MOHAI has many marvelous exhibits about the industrial history of Seattle, including galleries devoted to the Seattle General Strike of 1919. Fascinating!

 

Labor Day 2013

Today is Labor Day in the U.S. For a lot of us, that means a three-day weekend (I’m still on vacation and still at WorldCon)

This also marks the unofficial end of summer and the beginning of fall. But looking for an image to add to this post, I cam across the one below in Wikipedia. It’s from the Labor Day Parade in New York in 1908. This is the float of the Women’s Trade Union League. Look at the women on the float, and at the spectators. It reminds of us of how far we’ve come, and how far we have to go.

WTUL Labor Day 1908
1908 Labor Day Parade, float of Women’s Trade Union League, New York