Tag Archives: history

Happy Labor Day

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone is having a safe, happy, and relaxing holiday. Here in NJ it’s a rainy dreary day, so I’m sure many are moving their family gatherings indoor. My plan is to curl up and relax with a good book and get some writing done.  So, I’m keeping today’s post short and sweet. I like history and I like knowing how things originated so I thought I’d share a little of the history of Labor Day.

Who actually founded labor day is actually a subject for debate. There is evidence to suggest that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor was the first to introduce the concept. However, many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist and later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, NJ. Matthew Maguire is believed to have proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. It is definite, though, that the  Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic which was held September 5, 1882. Oregon was the first state to recognize Labor Day as a holiday in 1887. It wasn’t until June 28, 1894 that it became a national holiday.

Thus, Labor Day was born. A day to celebrate the labors and accomplishments of the American worker and all they’ve contributed to society.

Now tell me, how do you plan on spending your Labor Day?
Enjoy your holiday!

~Rayna

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Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving here in the United States is only two days away. I’m sure we all have many things we’re thankful for this year. I’m thankful to be surrounded by supportive and loving friends and family. I’m thankful that they are all happy and healthy. With Turkey Day almost upon us, I thought I’d share a little trivia for you to challenge your family with at the table.

  • President Abraham Lincoln, prompted by a series of editorials written by Sarah Josepha Hale, proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day, to be celebrated on the final Thursday in November 1863
  • On October 6, 1941, both houses of the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution fixing the traditional last-Thursday date for the holiday beginning in 1942. However, in December of that year the Senate passed an amendment to the resolution that split the difference by requiring that Thanksgiving be observed annually on the fourth Thursday of November, which was sometimes the last Thursday and sometimes (less frequently) the next to last
  • Thomas Jefferson thought the concept of Thanksgiving was “the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard.”
  • Every President since Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day. But in 1939, 1940, and 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed Thanksgiving the third Thursday in November to lengthen the holiday shopping season. This upset people.
  • Benjamin Franklin wanted the national bird to be a turkey.
  • George Washington, leader of the revolutionary forces in the American Revolutionary War, proclaimed a Thanksgiving in December 1777 as a victory celebration honoring the defeat of the British at Saratoga.
  • Fossil evidence shows that turkeys roamed the Americas 10 million years ago.
  • Wild turkeys have very powerful legs and can run at speeds up to 25 miles per hour. Their top speed in flight is 55 miles per hour. Domestic birds, on the other hand, are bred to be heavier and cannot fly.
  • The first unofficial presidential pardons were granted to domestic turkeys in 1947, and since then every president has “pardoned” two birds (a presidential turkey and a vice presidential turkey) before Thanksgiving.

Here’s a few facts from me, know any other interesting Thanksgiving facts? Please share.

I wish everyone a safe, happy, and trivia filled Thanksgiving.

~Rayna