The History of Labor Day!

Today is Labor Day and, ironically, we celebrate it by not laboring. That’s right, for the majority of American’s today, we celebrate Labor Day by getting an extended three-day weekend to vacation, relax, or do whatever else our hearts desire.

In case you didn’t know, this year is the 125th anniversary of Labor Day being celebrated as a national holiday and what it is, is the celebration of the American worker. The U.S. Department of Labor defines Labor Day as this: “Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

The first time the government recognized Labor Day was when municipal ordinances passed in 1885 and 1886. From these ordinances, a movement was developed to secure state legislation. After this, the first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but it was actually Oregon who became the first to pass it into law on February 21, 1887. More states followed suite in the years to come, but it wasn’t until June 28, 1894 that Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

It wasn’t an easy fight though to get this holiday passed, which came about by those fighting to start getting more fair working conditions and wages in this time. According to history.com, Labor Day “…originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. 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. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks. As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the wellspring of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay.”

There is far more to this historical time than can fit into one small blog, but read the history channels full article here to get all the details.

This Labor Day, while we’re grilling, relaxing, and spending time with our loved ones, let’s try to remember those who’ve gone before us to fight for many of the freedoms and rights we have today within in the workplace. AND, thanks to them, we get a long holiday weekend!

Labor Day Weekend Events in Prescott!

Labor Day is almost here! A three-day weekend away from work and to have a little extra time to relax, or get some extra things done around the house, or even go out of town for a quick getaway.

If you’re planning on staying in Prescott this weekend for the Holiday and are looking for some things to do – or perhaps you have family and friends coming to you for Labor Day for their getaway and you’re looking for some things to do together for entertainment – here are some events going on in town this weekend to keep you occupied.

Edible Landscape with Trees and Berries

When: Saturday, August 31st from 9:30AM – 10:30AM

Where: Watters Garden Center, 1815 W Iron Springs Rd, Prescott, AZ 86305

What: “Have your landscape and eat it, too! We’ll share the tips, tricks, and recipes that make for a better, healthier and tastier landscape. Plant experts will be on hand after the class that specializes in fruiting designs that can be eaten after planting.

Cost: FREE

Water Lantern Festival

When: Saturday, August 31st from 4:30PM – 930PM

Where: Watson Lake, 3101 N AZ-89, Prescott, AZ 86301

What: “Water Lantern Festival is filled with fun, happiness, hope, and great memories that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. This is a family friendly event that can be shared by everyone. Friends, families, neighbors, and lots of people that you haven’t met can come together to create a peaceful, memorable experience. Enjoy Food Trucks, music, and fun, and design your own lantern.

Sugar and The Mint Performance

When: Saturday, August 31st from 7PM – 9:30PM

Where: Elks Theater & Performing Arts Center, 117 E Gurley St, Prescott, AZ 86301

What: “All Elks Theatre net proceeds benefit the Community Outreach and Scholarship Program! Sugar and the Mint’s spirited take on folk and bluegrass excites audiences across the country. The band synthesizes genres into a sparkling repertoire of original songs, balancing first-time singalong hooks with robust musicality. Sugar and the Mint’s unique vocal approach features complex, ethereal harmonies supporting accessible melodies. Informed by everything from bluegrass to baroque to current pop and country, the traditional blend of guitar, violins, mandolin and bass instrumentation is anything but standard-fare acoustic music.”

Vintage Baseball

When: Saturday, August 31st from 7PM – 10PM

Where: Ken Lindley Field, 702 E Gurley St, Prescott, AZ 86301

What: “Two vintage baseball teams from the Valley will be combining to play a match of 1860-rules baseball against the hometown Prescott Champions. You will definitely recognize this early play as baseball and will surely enjoy the quirky rules and customs. You’ll learn about the original Champions of the 1870s, some of the terms and language of the era, as well as getting to cheer on both clubs as they score their “aces” or make spectacular plays in the field. There will be baseball trivia questions (win baseball cards!!!!), chances to handle century + old bats and mitts, and who knows, perhaps a chance to actually hit (using our authentic reproduction bats) against 19th century, underhand pitching!! And, with all this going on, you’ll probably work up an appetite, so walk across Washington St. to a food truck we’ll have available. Although night games were not played in the 1860s, we’re bending the authenticity rules a bit to allow for a chance to watch some fun baseball without worrying about the heat. Should you have questions please contact Ace at mradrian06@yahoo.com. Our website is currently being created!”

Cost: FREE

Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers Labor Day Weekend Concert

When: Monday, September 2nd from 1PM – 8PM

Where: Grand Highland Courtyard, 154 S. Montezuma St, Prescott, AZ 86303

What: Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers play Rock, Americana, Southwest Rock, and Alt-Country. They will also have special guest Kaileena Martin.

Cost: $25.

Prescott

If none of these things sound like something you’re interested in, don’t forget we live in a gorgeous town! Take a hike on one of the innumerable trails that make up our recreational areas. Rent some kayaks at Watson or Goldwater Lake and relax in the sun. Walk around downtown and enjoy the thrift stores, art galleries, great food and drink, and beautiful square. Though the weekend will be a little warm as far as weather goes, it’s a great time to soak up the last rays of summer. Fall will be here before we know it!