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.
- 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 Today’s fashion rules now shy away from this outdated policy.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 used to be the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon. The star-studded variety show would last almost 24 hours. It entertained, informed and more importantly, raised funds for MDA.
This year, the show is renamed “MDA Show of Strength” and was pre-produced and taped. It was a 3 hour program on Sunday. There was no traditional tote board. It will be interesting to see how much money is raised for MDA.
Lewis was MDA national chairman from the early 1950s to 2011, and is credited with raising more than $1.6 billion over the years. He was nominated in 1977 for a Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the telethon and muscular dystrophy relief.
In 2003, Clay Aiken was a guest on the MDA telethon. Clay sang “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and received glowing comments from Jerry Lewis. Jerry announced to the audience that Clay Aiken fans donated more than $30,000 when they learned that Clay would be on the show.
The following video shows Clay’s performance and the wonderful praise he received from Jerry Lewis.