Labor Day has been observed in some form since 1882, and was made a legal holiday in the U.S. by Congress in 1894. Today, Labor Day is a national holiday we celebrate the first Monday is September. This year, Labor Day is Monday, September 2. For many, it is a day off of work, spent at the grill or barbecue as an end-of-summer celebration. But what is the real meaning of Labor Day?
Labor Day originated with the labor movement itself, and, according to the U.S. Labor Department, is "a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country."
Labor Day's observance has gone away from parades and mass demonstrations, but is still an occasion where labor and business leaders and officials take to the pulpit to address U.S. citizens on topics of the day concerning the American workforce, both acknowledging progress and tackling challenges.
President Obama today commemorated Labor Day in his weekly address, saying that on Monday: "... we'll pay tribute to the values working Americans embody: hard work, responsibility, sacrifice, looking out for one another -- and we also need to recommit ourselves to their cause, to securing for them a better bargain so that everyone who works hard in America has a chance to get ahead." He also addressed what he sees as the inequality of income distribution in the country today, and his goals for the middle class.
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