Happy Labor Day to Clay Aiken and to all his fans!
Labor Day is more than just a day off from school and work. It’s a great time to think about the history of the national holiday and its importance in American history. Not only is it a day to enjoy picnics, festivals and barbecues; it’s a national dedication to the social and economic achievements of American workers.
Here are a few interesting facts about Labor Day to get you into the spirit of the holiday:
- President Grover Cleveland declared Labor Day to be the first Monday of September. Labor Day was first observed on September 5th, 1882.
- Labor Day is celebrated in Canada as well as the United States. Oregon was the first state to declare Labor Day as law.
- The first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City. 10,000 workers took an unpaid holiday to march in the first Labor Day parade.
- Labor Day is the third most popular day for grilling.
- Labor Day is the official end to hot dog season?
- In Nome, Alaska, you can enjoy the annual Great Bathtub Race on Labor Day. Four contestants push bathtubs with wheels and filled with water carrying a fifth team member.
- The annual Snake River Duck Race is another spectacular event you will not want to miss. Here you will see thousands of plastic ducks arriving on the river after moving through miles of twists and turns.
- “No white after Labor Day” was the old-fashioned style rule. Today’s fashion rules now shy away from this outdated policy.
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.