Monday, September 2, 2013 will kick-off the country’s one-hundred and thirty first Labor Day celebration! Wow, it takes a lot of great American beef to keep a party like that going! According to the Department of Labor, the first celebration was held Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. The person actually accredited with starting Labor Day is somewhat debated between Peter McGuire, a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, and Matthew Maguire, not related to Peter I believe, secretary to Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists, located in Patterson, New Jersey. The idea grew from a small parade and get together of “workingmen’s holiday” to Congress officially recognizing it as a legal holiday, the first Monday of September each year in June 28th, 1894. Don’t worry there is no charge for the history lesson. If you want to read about the circus of the very first Labor Day parade check out this link from the Department of Labor: http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history-daze.htm.
I believe if you look hard enough, that you can actually attribute American Herefords to the creation of our National Labor Day. I mean think, about it. Herefords were brought to America in the early 1800’s and from there they just took off culminating with the formation of the American Hereford Association in 1881. This allotted plenty of time for people to realize that with such great beef on the ground, they could pursue other hobbies and labors. Naturally, this realization led to more mechanical developments, and then a young America began to build herself up from the great tasting protein of Herefords….well let’s just say the rest is history!
Even if you don’t agree with that theory, you can’t argue with the fact that America is still a great nation of incredible work ethics. Compared to anything else, she’s still the best country to live in. This fact that is attributable to the laborers that built her and made her so great. A line from a great Alabama song, 40 Hour Week, “There are people in this country who work hard every day, Not for fame or fortune do they strive, but the fruits of their labor are worth more than their pay, and it’s time a few of them were recognized.” Absolutely, we as ranchers and farmers thank you the carpenters, plumbers, electricians, waitresses, mailmen, fire-fighters, police officers, steel workers, construction workers, truckers, mechanics, nurses, and all those too many to list who keep us going. You deserve more than a day of recognition, but the world would fall apart if you were gone any longer than a day.
No matter how you celebrate your Labor Day this year, just know that you are supported and appreciated. I hope to see you parading down Main Street waving to the crowd like the great heroes you are on Monday. However, if I don’t see you there and you find yourself having to stand over the grill making the family all beef hot-dogs and hamburgers, or putting the final rub spices on that delicious Certified Hereford Beef® steak, just know America needs you!
Everyone be safe and enjoy the holiday,