This year, we will celebrate Labor Day on Monday, September 3rd. Labor Day Weekend is a new holiday for many au pairs. Here is a brief history of this American holiday (from Holiday Insights), ideas of ways to celebrate with your host children, and DC-area events.
Labor Day History
The Workman’s Holiday ~ Dedicated in honor of the worker, Labor Day is also known as the “workingman’s holiday”. The holiday is dedicated to all workers in the United States in respect and appreciation for the work they do in or outside of the home, union or non-union, big companies and small companies and au pairs too. As long as you work somewhere at something, this holiday is for you! It is a day to celebrate your contribution to American working life and the work you do.
The First Labor Day ~ The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on September 5, 1882, and was started by the Central Labor Union in New York City. In 1884, it was moved to the first Monday in September where it is celebrated today. Labor Day quickly became popular and one state after another voted it as a holiday. On June 28, 1894, the U.S. Congress voted it a national holiday.
The End of Summer ~ Labor Day is also viewed as the official end of summer. While the Fall Equinox is still a couple of weeks away, kids go back to school and summer vacations are over. This day is celebrated with a long weekend off from work and union-sponsored parades. Many people celebrate this weekend with one last picnic. It is also the date that many people close up the swimming pool, and put away the boats.
Was it McGuire or Maguire? ~ Either Peter McGuire or Matthew Maguire is the Creator of Labor Day. Peter J. McGuire, was an active labor organizer. He was also general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. He was believed to be the first to suggest a day be dedicated to American workers and their accomplishments. Matthew Maguire however, was secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York in 1882 and many believed that he proposed the holiday in 1882.
Food and Fun
So what do Americans eat on Labor Day? ~ Picnics and barbecues are popular ways to celebrate Labor Day. Old standards are hamburgers, corn dogs, coleslaw, potato salad corn on the cob, baked beans, and sliced tomatoes. Finish up with sliced watermelon, apple or blueberry pie, and freshly churned ice cream. Sound good? Want to try a recipe?
What can you do with the kids on Labor Day? ~ Schools are usually closed on Labor Day, so the children are home for the day. Generally, Americans love long weekends and it is an extra special time for families to be together. Join in and be part of the family activities. Enjoy your first Labor Day Weekend in the United States. If you arrived recently, this is a great weekend to bond with the kids and get to know them. Go for a bike ride, play in the backyard, go to the park, or enjoy the beach and the pool before the fall weather arrives. For indoor quiet activities try these:
If you arrived recently, this is a great weekend to bond with the kids and get to know them. Go for a bike ride, play in the backyard, go to the park, or enjoy the beach and the pool before the fall weather arrives. For indoor quiet activities try these:
Labor Day Weekend in Washington, DC
Washington has a myriad of activities to celebrate Labor Day- and many of them are free!
2018 National Book Festival ~ The 18th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, September 1st from 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. This annual festival features everyone from children’s book authors to spy novelists. For helpful tips and guides, visit the Festival’s blog.
Labor Day Capitol Concert 2018 ~ On Sunday, September 2nd, the National Symphony Orchestra performs its annual free Labor Day weekend concert on the West Lawn of the US Capitol. Gates open at 3 pm, rehearsal at 3:30 pm, and performance at 8 pm.
American Enterprise ~ Located on the ground level of the National Museum of American History, the American Enterprise exhibit is an interactive display that walks you through the evolution of innovation, wealth, and success in the United States as the country moved from a predominantly agricultural economy to an industrial powerhouse.