Hello all and happy #FunFactFriday! Knowing that you are all gearing up for a nice, long holiday weekend, I thought it would be best to impart a little bit of Labor Day knowledge.
Personally, I’ve never been sure what Labor Day was or the history behind it. I just knew it meant that a three-day weekend was soon headed my way. After doing a little digging, I found out that there was so much more to the holiday than I realized—surprise, surprise.
Here’s a brief history lesson about the holiday before we dive into some fast facts. Labor Day is the first Monday in September and is meant as a yearly national tribute to the contribution American workers have made to the prosperity and well-being of our county. It was inspired by Labor Day in Canada, which began in 1872, making its way south the U.S. The first U.S. Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5 1882 and was more along the lines of a demonstration demanding rights for workers. On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.
Now onto the fun stuff:
- Why don’t we wear white after Labor Day? We all know this “rule” but where did it come from? The tradition goes back to the end of the Civil War when society was ruled by old-money elites. When the new and seemingly “vulgar” rich came into the picture, the old crowd made up fashion rules that only they were privy to. So if anyone showed up in white for an autumn event, they would be scoffed at for being nouveau riche.
- Go to an amusement park—it’s the law. In 1986, the state of Virginia passed the Kings Dominion Law, which prohibits schools from beginning before Labor Day weekend, allowing families one last chance to hit up popular theme parks, like Busch Gardens and Kings Dominion. In fact, Kings Dominion had donated 324 free park tickets to lawmakers between 2001 and 2013 in order to keep the law on the books.
- It marks the end of “hot dog season.” Hot dog season is considered to span from Memorial Day to Labor Day and is a time when Americans inhale roughly 818 hot dogs every second; this comes to 7 billion in total during this time frame. Hot dog sales and consumption take a big hit after Labor Day, a delicacy that many Americans will substitute for pumpkin spiced anything.
- Three-day weekends help you live longer. According to an analysis conducted by the science journal, The Lancet, it was found that the 40 percent of Americans who work more than 55 hours per week had a 33 percent increased risk of stroke than people who work 40 hours per week. Those who work 40 hours or less every week also sleep better, pick fewer fights and are generally more productive.
- Labor Day shares its weekend with another special holiday. International Bacon Day falls on the Saturday before Labor Day every year. The holiday’s motto: “Bacon is a vegetable.”
This holiday weekend, go out in your whitest and brightest, throw away all abandon and gorge yourself on hot dogs and bacon, take a wild ride on one of your favorite roller coasters and do all of this knowing that weekends like these help you to live a longer, happier life.
Happy Labor Day weekend!