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On the Job

by on September 4, 2013


What the heck is labor day anyway? What I do know is that it is a national holiday, on which little to no labor is done, but is held in honor of the laborer. But what laborers? In 1882 a parade was organized by the Central Labor Union and Knights of Labor to exhibit “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the community. It was nothing like the barbecues we have in parks today. It was about rallying for better labor conditions, like shorter hours and better pay. The first parade was held in Union Square on September 5, 1882. Workers lost a day of pay to participate, but bricklayers and jewelers alike marched together in a crowd of 10,000.

And now labor day is for everyone: those that sit on their butts (spreadsheet open on computer), and those that don’t (butcher, baker, candlestick maker). For each one of us, our lifetime of working started somewhere. For President Obama, it was Baskin Robbins. For others, it was a warehouse gig, fruit stand, and a bookstore.

Celebrate all of your hard work–tell us, what was your first job?

Photo: Labor Day Parade, Brooklyn, 2007
Featuring notes by: staycurious, zunaid, swburdine, tomcunniff

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