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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

Labor Day quotes: Special sayings that celebrate the American worker

It's hard to believe Labor Day is here again! This annual holiday, observed on the first Monday in September, not only signifies the unofficial end of the summer season, but honors the contributions and achievements of the American worker.

While millions of Americans will celebrate the yearly holiday by enjoying a much-needed day off from work with a backyard barbecue, picnic, parade or a little rest and relaxation, Labor Day has a rich history.

Labor Day History

During the late 1800s, many Americans were working long, 12-hour days. Many young children also worked long days with very little pay under less-than-favorable conditions. Labor unions began to form around the country, organizing efforts to protest low pay, long hours and harsh and dangerous conditions. Workers also began demanding age restrictions on workers to keep young children out of factories and the workplace.

While there is some debate as to who actually “created” the “workingmen’s holiday,” Labor Day wasfirst observed in New York City in 1882. 10,000 employees took to the streets to participate in the very first Labor Day parade on September 5, 1882. These workers took unpaid time off from work to march from City Hall to Union Square. Little by little, other areas around the country began celebrating Labor Day. But it was not until 1894 when Labor Day became a federal holiday.

Labor Day serves as an important reminder that without those brave American men and women from days gone by, our working conditions would be entirely different today.

Labor Day Quotes & Sayings

  • Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. ~ Confucius

  • The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. ~ Vince Lombardi

  • The man who rolls up his shirt sleeves is rarely in danger of losing his shirt. ~ Anonymous

  • A man is not paid for having a head and hands, but for using them. ~ Elbert Hubbard

  • Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses and some don’t turn up at all. ~ Sam Ewing

  • When your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt. ~ Henry J. Kaiser

  • Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken. ~ Bill Dodds

  • Without labor nothing prospers. ~ Sophocles

  • Honest labor bears a lovely face. ~ Thomas Dekker

  • I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it. ~ Thomas Jefferson

  • There is no substitute for hard work. ~ Thomas Edison

  • Work is no disgrace; the disgrace is idleness. ~ Greek Proverb

  • Working hard and working smart sometimes can be two different things. ~ Byron Dorgan

  • Labor gives birth to ideas. ~ Jim Rohn

  • No labor, however humble, is dishonoring. ~ The Talmud

  • Nothing will work unless you do. ~ Maya Angelou

  • The only thing that overcomes hard luck is hard work. ~ Harry Golden

  • Many times a day I realize how much my own life is built upon the labors of my fellowmen, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received. ~ Albert Einstein

  • All wealth is the product of labor. ~ John Locke

  • Management is nothing more than motivating other people. ~ Lee Iacocca

  • Make no mistake about it! There is an organized movement against organized labor and it’s called the Bush Administration. ~ Senator Edward Kennedy

  • Corporations are people, my friend! ~ Mitt Romney

Happy Labor Day!


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