HomeVoorhees NewsMayor's Message: Labor Day

Mayor’s Message: Labor Day

Now more than ever we need this Labor Day to rest and recharge as we look towards the fall season of this unique year

“Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”

Maya Angelou

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This quote seems very appropriate for each of us during the pandemic. We have all experienced so much additional stress as we navigate the ever-changing realities of our current lives and the uncertainties of our futures. Now more than ever we need this Labor Day to rest and recharge as we look towards the fall season of this unique year.

This year, the observance of Labor Day brings new meaning. In spite of the pandemic, many in our work force, especially our first responders and health care workers, have courageously reported for duty every day.

This weekend marks 133 years since New Jersey established Labor Day as a holiday. In 1887, Oregon was the first state to grant legal status to the holiday but listed the date as the first Saturday in June. That same year Colorado, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey adopted the holiday and proclaimed it be observed on the first Monday in September. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill recognizing the first Monday in September as a national holiday.

Today we recognize the upcoming three-day weekend as the time for wearing white clothes is “out”, store sales are “in”, summer is over, school starts up again, time for backyard barbecues, a last trip down the shore and looking toward busier times at work.

The initial idea for Labor Day as a general labor festival may have originated in Canada in 1872, which today also celebrates “Labour Day” on the first Monday in September. Our holiday traces its roots back to 1882 when Peter McGuire, a union leader, suggested that there be a celebration honoring American workers and organized a parade in New York City.

Initially that morning, few people showed up and organizers worried that workers had been reluctant to surrender a day’s pay to join the rally. But soon the crowds began flowing in from across the city and by the end of the day it is estimated that 10,000 people had marched in the parade and joined the festivities afterward in what the press dubbed “a day of the people.”

McGuire said that there was no particular significance to the date and it was chosen because it fell roughly halfway between the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. This holiday is a continuing national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country

Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday – a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” to the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. So, enjoy a day off but take a moment to pay tribute to America’s labor force.

** The American Red Cross is holding a blood drive on Thursday, Sept. 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Voorhees Town Hall court room. Donations are by appointment only. To schedule, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 800-733-2767. Be a hero and donate.

** Voorhees Township is offering discounted tickets to Morey’s Piers in Wildwood. Tickets are available in the Municipal Clerk’s Office at Voorhees Town Hall. Prices vary according to the type of ticket and several options are available to residents and non-residents. For more information about tickets visit www.voorheesnj.com.

** Our third Drive-In Movie Night of 2020 will be on Friday, Sept. 4. The PG movie Dolittle will be shown on a 40-foot outdoor screen. The movie will be shown at the Voorhees Town Center parking lot located off of Somerdale Road. This event is intended for Voorhees residents only. Parking opens at 7:00 p.m. and the movie will start at dusk. Limited food and ice cream will be available for purchase. Spaces are limited and the event is free.

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