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It's High Time Labor Day Were Celebrated for What It Really Is
The Laurel Chronicle - Friday, July 22, 1910 Laurel, Mississippi

In the Monday issue of the Mobile Register appeared a tribute to Labor Day -its true significance, which every worker in the land ought to read and seriously consider. Editor Craighead sounds the keynote when he says "it's getting high time that this "curse of labor" idea were exploded. Read what the Register says about Labor Day:

"Labor Day is a day among days. When all is said and done it remains the most significant of all the days set apart for secular observance.

"This significance is not generally recognized as yet. It is only potentially that Labor day is a great day among days as yet. For Labor day is as yet identified with the activities of a mere faction of the labor of the world, a faction banded together under pressure of dire necessit.

Now it is Union Labor day. The day comes, however, when it will be LABOR DAY, pure and simple, for in the day when labor comes to its own there will be no need of an adjective to designate any particular kind of labor as set apart from the rest.

"In that day labor will be as one. Labor will mean all workers, and the worker, as the foundation stone of society, having realized at last the nobility of the human worker and the shame of the human drone, will have crystallized as a whole into a dominant society of democracy, a society embracing all mankind but dronedom, all the pure gold of humanity- leaving the dross, the slag of the world's crucible, to serve what ends it may, to dwindle year by year as the refining fires burn on, till it finally becomes a mere ghostly residue, too weak and worthless and helpless for scorn.

"Thus shall pass the glory of feudalism, chivalric and industrial. Thus they that do the honest work of the world shall shake off the parasite and come to a realization of the high destiny of labor.

"It's getting time that this "curse of labor" idea were exploded. It's a relic of an outworn and unchristian theology, and it is due to be cast into the limbo of medieval superstitions. For in reality labor is the supreme blessing—not the grinding labor of chattel or industrial slavery, but the normal labor of the free man unscourged by the lash of driving necessity and untrammeled by the burden of an aristocratic upper crust.

"And it's high time that Labor day were celebrated for what it really is not a mere holiday picnic and parade- but a day of tremendous significance, set apart and dedicated to the glory of all labor and to the exalting of its ideal the democracy of common endeavor."

Related Sites

  1. AFL/CIO - The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
  2. The History of Labor Day - On the US Department of Labor Site (.gov site)
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