Gordon Keith: What is Labor Day?



WFAA contributor

Posted on September 2, 2010 at 9:53 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 4 at 12:43 AM

Well, Monday is Labor Day in America; a day when we salute those women who've dilated and uterine contractions are signaling the painful introduction of a new human into the world. Childbirth is a miraculous process...

What? That's not Labor Day?


Well, Monday is Labor Day in America; a day when everyone works their tail off to get ahead in today's tough economy.


Well, Monday is Labor Day in America; a day when no one works, and we all head to the lake for one last weekend of summer fun.

Now I've never truly been a "lake person" — at least not since my boat was repossessed — so I'm going to cook out.

Like you, I'll be in the backyard serving iffy hot dogs and overdone burgers to family and friends I hope are too buzzed to notice.

But what is Labor Day?

Is it something more than a day of telethons and sweating? Yes.

Here's a little history for you: Labor Day was nationally instituted by Wilford Brimley, star of the film "Cocoon." He also went by the name "Grover Cleveland" and served as our 22nd and 24th president.

He made Labor Day a national holiday in 1894 to appease voters who were ticked at him for suppressing a railroad worker strike. It didn't work. He lost the next election.

But it gave us a three-day weekend, and for that reason alone, I'm going to rent "Cocoon" one more time.

Labor Day also means the end of summer, and with our recent temperatures, I say thank goodness I'm ready for football (and sweaters).

And finally, a reminder of etiquette: Don't wear white after Labor Day unless you are a dishonest bride (or Wilford Brimley in "Cocoon").