LABOR DAY MONDAY: Facts About Labor Day

{excerpted from Reader’s Digest}


Who Came Up with the Holiday?

No one is sure who came up with the idea first, but credit for the Labor Day observation goes to one of two people. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are some records that suggest  Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, first proposed a day celebrating workers. However, some historians believe the credit actually goes to a machinist named Matthew Maguire, who reportedly suggested the idea while he was secretary of the Central Labor Union.

Wearing White After Labor Day

Ever wonder why you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day? The tradition goes back to the end of the Civil War, when society was ruled by the wealthy wives of old-money elites. As more new-money millionaires entered society, the jealous old regime invented a whole suite of arbitrary fashion rules that only those in the in-crowd would know. Anyone who showed up to an autumn dinner party in a white dress, for example, would be instantly outed as a nouveau riche newbie. That tradition of not wearing white past summer has since trickled down through fashion magazines and into mainstream culture ¦ even for those of us whose ideal dinner party garb is sweatpants. The good news is,  most fashion experts agree that there’s no need to follow this elitist rule today.

The 3-Day Weekend May Help You Live Longer

In an analysis of more than 600,000 American, European, and Australian workers, the science journal The Lancet found that people who work more than 55 hours per week had a 33 percent increased risk of stroke than people who worked fewer than 40 hours a week. They also sleep better, pick fewer fights, and are generally more productive at work, The Cut reports, than the estimated 40 percent of American workers who give 50-plus hours to the office. So slack off this weekend ” for your health.

Read the other dozen facts about Labor Day here.