Monday (Sept. 2) is Labor Day – the day set aside in both the U.S. and Canada to celebrate workers. It has its roots in the labor union movement. The first Labor Day parade was Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City, organized by the Central Labor Union. Some 10,000 workers paraded around Union Square.
The idea spread across the county and many state legislatures passed bills making it a legal holiday. In 1894, Congress enacted legislation making the first Monday of September the official Labor Day.
While the legislation was signed by President Grover Cleveland, history notes that he signed it to help mitigate the criticism he was getting for sending troops to break up a strike, resulting in 13 dead strikers and more than 50 wounded.
Over time Labor Day parades in the U.S. and big celebrations have given way to the “just-another day-off” mentality and the last weekend of summer.
In Juneau, the Central Labor Council sponsors a community Labor Day picnic at Sandy Beach from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- The state is fining oil and gas company Hilcorp an additional $160,000 for using nitrogen without permission while working on two wells in 2015 -- the same practice that nearly killed three North Slope workers.
- Roughly 6,000 state workers were unable to log in to their computers, affecting two in five executive branch workers.
- The totem pole is an icon of the Pacific Northwest. The carved art form showcases clan stories and family crests in museums around the world. After more than 30 years in the Anchorage Museum, a century-old pole from Southeast has made it back to Sitka, where curators are prepping a permanent home.
- One of the Sealaska regional Native corporation’s longest-serving leaders is stepping down. Rosita Worl says she will not run for another term after 30 years on the board.