The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Tuesday, August 28, 2012:
What does Labor Day mean to you…to your family? For me, growing up, it was great to have both my father and mother home on a weekday…to have a final summer picnic…to wear my white shoes one more time before the then hard cut-off for wearing summer whites. And, back then, Labor Day was the last day of summer vacation before returning to school.
While many of us have a general idea of when and how most of our national holidays came about, I bet many of us know little about the origins of Labor Day. Whom do we thank for this last extended weekend at the unofficial end of summer?
While researching this, I found there seems to be some disagreement as to which individual is responsible for the first Labor Day. But, the first American Labor Day was celebrated in 1882 in New York City and it became a national holiday in 1894. It honors the social and economic achievements of the American worker.
As a result of the economic turmoil of the last few years, more than ever, the observance of Labor Day should be significant for all of us. Alabama's unemployment rate remains higher than 8%. That's more than 150,000 Alabamians still looking for jobs. Let's hope that by Labor Day 2013 we'll be celebrating a much lower unemployment rate. What do you think?
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