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Labor Day, The Original Block Party!

04 September on T-Shirts   Tags: , , , ,

The Original Block Party! The first parade and celebration was not held on a Monday, but Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City.

Worker t-shirt

When I read that, I thought, what is three day weekend about anyway and why do we celebrate it? I have a curious streak that leads to questions like this and others like, "If a turtle loses his shell, is he naked or homeless?" I can't help it, my mind runs off into odd directions, at times. Let's be honest, aren't you just a little curious about why you get a day out of school or off work every year in September? Oh and that every pesky question, "why aren't we supposed to wear white after Labor Day?"

I'm an odd duck, I like to know things, all sorts of things. So, what did I discover about the world's largest block party? First off, it's not just an American holiday. Canada and Australia also celebrate a version of it too.

The original plans stated; The first Monday of September will be set aside as a holiday to recognize the American worker and their families. Celebrations are to include; a street parade, a festival, and speeches from prominent citizens.

Who gets credit for thinking up this yearly party? Leave it to two Irish men to duke it out over claiming the rights to this invention. Peter McGuire and Matthew Maguire are both credited. Evidence to support one over the other is about equal, both men are generally mentioned when the topic comes up.

The first American worker’s celebration almost fizzled out! The Grand Marshall, William McCabe, and his party lined up near city hall in lower Manhattan prepared to march. There was a bit of confusion when they realized no-one began to march. Apparently, the lack of a band confused them. Within a short time, a group of 700 people and they had a band! At 10 am the parade began, with the band leading the way.

As the excitement built and crowds gathered the New York Tribune reported, "The windows, roofs, and even lamp posts have people anxiously trying to get a good view of the parade." Nothing much has changed about parades since then.

Accounts claim 10,000 to 20,000 people marched in the parade! By noon, they arrived at Reservoir park which was set to be the end of the parade. The majority of the marchers continued until they reached Wendel's Elm Park, where the partying kicked off in earnest.

Apparently, the idea of a party got the better of the crowds. Newspapers recorded, "There were kegs of beer stationed everywhere if there was a flat surface there was a barrel on it." These hard working men and women partied from 1 pm until 9 pm that night.

Nowadays, picnics, BBQ's, and parades are what we do to celebrate the American worker. Along with the usual, hot-dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, and of course, our favorite, Booze of any kind!

Stringer Hoodie

Every year my family goes to the beach or up to the mountains to play in the creeks, for the three-day weekend. We always do something, to escape the humdrum of everyday life. Over the years, I picked up another odd habit. I buy my family t-shirts every year. I started buying printed t-shirts because I saw them while shopping for school clothes. It's one of those "odd duck" things I do, that make people look at me strangely. As if I was giving them a birthday present, 4 months early. They do seem to have grown used to the tradition and look forward to their labor day t-shirts each year.

I have a knack for finding printed t-shirts that fit my family's careers or favorite past times. This year, I bought my Mom one that says "You can't scare me, I'm a Librarian.", she works in a middle school. Then I came across a Stringer hoodie for my Brother-in-Law, I don't exactly get the "Stringer" thing, but he is always wearing something that says "Stringer" on it. So I thought, Winter is coming, he will appreciate a Stringer hoodie. For my little brother, I found a printed t-shirt that says, "No Trespassing, Geological Engineer Working, Violators Will Be Crushed", which I find funny.

So if you're looking for something unique to do for on this unusual holiday weekend, buy someone a printed t-shirt or a hoodie and if you happen to have a Stringer in your circle look for those Stringer Hoodies!

About that silly question "Not wearing white after Labor Day?", turns out, September was when the upper class returned from Summer vacation. In preparation for Winter, they packed away their light colored clothing for warmer clothes

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