Founded to honor the worker, Labor Day is dedicated to you in respect and appreciation for the work you do in or outside of the home, union or non-union, big company, small companies, or government. As long as you work somewhere at something, this holiday is for you!
Traditionally, Labor Day is celebrated in the U.S. on the first Monday in September, a custom that has been followed since the inception of the holiday. It is a day of rest for every American worker.
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.
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. So this marks the end of the season. Many people celebrate this weekend with one last picnic or BBQ. It is also the date that many people close up the pool, put away the boats and get out the sweaters.
Labor Day is observed in many different ways. Parades are annually organized in some places today, as this was the tradition many years ago. In many places rallies and political demonstrations are organized that highlight the problems faced by workers. Speeches by union leaders and political figures at these rallies attempt to create a general awareness about the condition of American laborers.
One of the traditions of Labor Day is the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. The star-studded variety show lasts 21 ½ hours and entertains, informs and more importantly, raises funds for MDA.
The first broadcast over Labor Day weekend was in 1966 by one TV station in New York City. The event quickly caught the public’s attention – and raised more than $1 million in pledges. Now, more than 40 years later, the show will be broadcast by 180 MDA “Love Network” stations, assisted by 250,000 volunteers across the country. Some 40 million people will see the show.
In 1998, the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon made history as the first telethon seen around the world via Internet simulcast. Last year the telethon raised $65 million dollars.
In 2003, Clay Aiken was a guest on the MDA telethon. Clay sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and received glowing comments from Jerry Lewis.
The following video shows Clay’s performance and the wonderful praise he received from Jerry Lewis.