Labor Day 2013 is Sept. 2: Facts, events and Labor Day history

ssorich@ledger-enquirer.comSeptember 2, 2013 

Labor Day 2013 is Monday, Sept. 2. Here's everything you need to know about the holiday.

What's the history of Labor Day?

The first Labor Day parade in US history was held Sept. 5, 1882, when 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, according to History.com.

Even though the event reinforced the idea of a "workingmen's holiday," Congress didn't legalize the holiday until 12 years later, the website adds. It explains:

On May 11, 1894, employees of the Pullman Palace Car Company in Chicago went on strike to protest wage cuts and the firing of union representatives. On June 26, the American Railroad Union, led by Eugene V. Debs, called for a boycott of all Pullman railway cars, crippling railroad traffic nationwide.

To break the strike, the federal government dispatched troops to Chicago, unleashing a wave of riots that resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. In the wake of this massive unrest and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Which Labor Day events are happening in the Chattahoochee Valley?

Labor Day Fair: The Old Seale Russell County Courthouse in Alabama hosts its Annual Labor Day Fair 9 a.m.-4 p.m. EDT. Free parking and free admission. Expect vendors, entertainment, food and more. If you’re unfamiliar with the area, organizers recommend using the address 77 Longview St., zip code 36875, to find directions to the venue.

Swim at Liberty Bell Pool: This is your last chance of the season to swim at the FDR Liberty Bell Pool, located at 3673 Ga. Hwy 354 in Pine Mountain. Hours are 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sept. 2. Cost is $5, plus a $5 parking fee. Call 706-663-4824.

Labor Day on the Lake: This event is held through Sept. 2 at Florence Marina State Park, 218 Florence Road in Omaha, Ga. Expect a family celebration with games, crafts and nature programs. Activities will begin in the morning and last until around 4 p.m. each day. Cost is $1-$5, plus $5 parking fee. Call 229-838-4706.

Activities at National Infantry Museum: The National Infantry Museum, 1775 Legacy Way in Columbus, will be open 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Labor Day. Kids ages 6-11 can participate in a mini-camp from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Cost is $10 per camper, $8 for multiple campers per household. Call 706-685-5814 to register. In the IMAX Theatre, enjoy free screenings of “The Americans in the Bulge” and “Marching Once More” at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. At 1:45 and 4:45 p.m., active duty soldiers with ID can buy a ticket to “Man of Steel: an IMAX 3D Experience” for $5. Get more information at www.nationalinfantrymuseum.org.

Is there trash pickup?

No pickup in Columbus, but there is pickup in Phenix City. Get more information about local Labor Day closings here.

Is it really the end of summer?

Well, unofficially. The "official" end of summer comes with the September Equinox, or autumnal equinox, that's scheduled to happen Sept. 22 (although some sources say Sept. 21).

How many people have to work on Labor Day?

If you end up checking your email incessantly today, you're apparently not alone. A recent NBC News piece cites government data from from 2011 suggesting "35 percent of us work on weekends, and those who do average five hours of labor, often without compensation — or even a thank you."

It adds, "The average smartphone user checks his or her device 150 times per day, or about once every six minutes."

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