In Other News: Labor Day

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

If there are two things Americans love, it’s traditions and barbecues. Oh, and days off of work. Ah, Labor Day. The ironic holiday which celebrates working by, well, doing a ton of great, non-work stuff. (Don’t let the fact that Labor Day requires a whole lot from many, many groups of workers go unnoticed.)

Labor Day was first celebrated in 1882, and was declared a national holiday by Grover Cleveland in 1884. Canada followed suit, choosing the same day. Labor Day is always the first Monday of September, and usually the unofficial end of summer. (91 degrees outside of Detroit today and about 90% humidity. That’s summer.) It’s also a very good time to buy appliances, but I’m not sure what that has to do with anything. In much of the rest of the world, the workers are celebrated on 1 May, International Worker’s Day.

Here are five titles that look at the Labor Day from different perspectives:

Britannica Student Encyclopedia, 1st Edition. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2014.

Looking to send your students to an overview of Labor Day? This is the title for you. Dates, names, and a list additional resources can be found here.

Encyclopedia of Health Communication, 1st Edition. Sage Publications, 2014.

Labor Day is the celebration of work. With more than 154 million Americans in the workforce, accidents happen. Ensuring safety is a vital part of work, particularly to those who perform physical and mechanized labor. Learn more about the jobs which are designed to protect people doing other jobs in the “Work Site Safety” in this just-released title.

Global Events: Milestone Events Throughout History, 1st Edition. Gale, 2014.

The Industrial Age brought many things to America. Some of it was very good. And some if it was very, very bad. The makers of the Pullman train car. More than 10,000 employees lived in Pullman, Illinois – a city dedicated to the lives of the Pullman workers. Life was great — or was it? Learn more about the history of the Pullman Strike and it’s direct relationship to the founding of Labor Day.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, 2nd Edition. St. James Press, 2013.

Was Jimmy Hoffa, one of the most notoriously missing people and former Union boss, killed and hidden in a field by the mob? Just for fun — a look at *other* organized labor. Explore the mafia and it’s often implied link to unions in America in this approachable title.

Workers in America: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1st Edition. ABC-Clio, 2013.

There is a long history of hard, dirty work in the world. Explore the precursor to the unions, the teamsters. Teamsters are responsible from moving stuff from point A to point B — and it would be impossible to do anything without them. Explore their full history here.


photoAbout the Author

Michelle is an “anytime!” traveler and language enthusiast. She has degrees in talking from Central Michigan and Michigan State University. She is currently becoming a runner and used to play golf in high school.



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