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Topic: GENERAL INTEREST -- Labor Day: Canadian Origins
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 16,576
Registered: 12/3/04
GENERAL INTEREST -- Labor Day: Canadian Origins
Posted: Sep 3, 2012 3:29 PM
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FYI --

From Westwood-CenturyCityPatch, Monday, September 3, 2012. See
Labor Day: Canadian Origins, American Traditions and the 40-Hour Workweek

The holiday was first observed by our neighbors up north.

By Marie Cunningham

Labor Day is celebrated in the United States on the first Monday in
September. Though often commemorated with picnics, barbecues and
parties, the federal holiday is meant to pay tribute to the country's

How much do you know about Labor Day? Here are some facts about the
holiday that may surprise you:

. Labor Day actually started in Canada. Its origins can be traced
back to April 15, 1872, when the Toronto Trades Assembly organized
Canada's first significant demonstration for worker's rights.
Canadians also celebrate the holiday on the first Monday of
September, but to them it's "Labour Day."

. Americans first celebrated Labor Day Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in
New York City. A parade with 10,000 workers marched from City Hall to
Union Square.

. On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday
in September of each year Labor Day.

. The Adamson Act, enacted in 1916, was the first United States
federal legislation regulating the hours of workers in private
companies. It established an eight-hour workday, with additional pay
for overtime work, for railroad workers.

. Passed in 1938, the Fair Labor Standards Act protects workers by
setting standards for minimum wage, overtime pay, record keeping and
youth labor. At the time, it set the minimum hourly wage at 25 cents
and the maximum workweek at 44 hours.

. Today, the standard American workweek is 40 hours-eight hours a
day, five days a week.

. In the U.S., 85.8 percent of males and 66.5 percent of females
work more than 40 hours per week.

. According to the International Labour Organization, Americans work
137 more hours a year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours a year
than British workers and 499 more hours a year than French workers.

. The idea that you can't wear white after Labor Day may be because
wearing white in the summer was, for many centuries, a way to stay
cool and avoid attracting the sun's warm rays. Many students heading
back to class after Labor Day, a holiday marking the end of summer,
begin wearing heavier and darker fall clothing.

Do you know any interesting Labor Day-related facts? Please share
them in the comments section below.

Have a fun and safe Labor Day!

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
625 Wham Drive
Mail Code 4610
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610
Phone: (618) 453-4241 [O]
(618) 457-8903 [H]
Fax: (618) 453-4244

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