Why We Celebrate Labor Day?
Each year, the celebration of Labor Day, on the first Monday in September, signifies the end of summer. For most of us it means a day off from work and a three day weekend. But what does Labor Day, a national holiday, truly represent? Why do we celebrate Labor Day?
The holiday originated in 1882 as a result of the labor movement and was intended to be a day of rest to recognize the efforts of the average working man and woman. The Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to organize an official celebration on September 5, 1882 in New York City.
The first Monday in September was designated as the holiday because the day occurred halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving. This idea became popular wIth various labor unions and local governments around the country, and municipalities gradually came to adopt Labor Day as an official holiday
The recognition of Labor Day as a national holiday for the working man came about as a result of a law signed by President Grover Cleveland. Although Cleveland was not a significant labor union supporter himself, he found the legislation enacting Labor Day as a national holiday to be a symbolic remedy for political damage he had suffered earlier that same year. During this time, he used federal troops to thwart an American Railway Union strike in Chicago, and as a result, 34 railroad workers were killed.
Although originally celebrated with large public demonstrations of worked banding together in rallies and parades in the streets, Labor Day is generally accepted with pride in recognition of the contributions that workers throughout America have made to the overall prosperity and success of our nation.
So now you know the official WHY America celebrates Labor Day - so go out and have a great UNOFFICIAL American one of your own!
Victory Over Japan
VJ-Day - September 2, 1945Victory over Japan Day (also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, V-J Day, or V-P Day) is a name chosen for the day on which Japan surrendered, in effect ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event. The term has been applied to both of the days on which the initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made - to the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and, because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945 (when it was announced in the United States and the rest of the Americas and Eastern Pacific Islands) - as well as to September 2, 1945, when the signing of the surrender document occurred, officially ending World War II.
August 15 is the official V-J Day for the UK, while the official U.S. commemoration is September 2. The name, V-J Day, had been selected by the Allies after they named V-E Day for the victory in Europe.
On September 2, 1945, a formal surrender ceremony was performed in Tokyo Bay, Japan, aboard the battleship USS Missouri. In Japan, August 15 usually is known as the "memorial day for the end of the war"; the official name for the day, however, is "the day for mourning of war dead and praying for peace" (Senbotsusha o tsuitōshi heiwa o kinensuru hi?). This official name was adopted in 1982 by an ordinance issued by the Japanese government.
August 15 is commemorated as Liberation Day in Korea.
After news of the Japanese acceptance and before Truman's announcement, Americans began celebrating "as if joy had been rationed and saved up for the three years, eight months and seven days since Sunday, Dec. 7, 1941", as Life magazine later reported. In Washington, D.C. a crowd attempted to break into the White House grounds as they shouted "We want Harry!" In San Francisco two women jumped naked into a pond at the Civic Center to soldiers' cheers. More seriously, rioting sailors looted city stores, overturned automobiles, and attacked women, leaving 11 dead and 1,000 injured. The largest crowd in the history of New York City's Times Square gathered to celebrate. The victory itself was announced by a headline on the "zipper" news ticker at One Times Square, which read "*** OFFICIAL TRUMAN ANNOUNCES JAPANESE SURRENDER ***"; the six asterisks represented the branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. In the Garment District, workers threw out cloth scraps and ticker tape, leaving a pile five inches deep on the streets. A "coast-to-coast frenzy of [servicemen] kissing" occurred, with Life publishing photographs of such kisses in Washington, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and Miami.
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