Ever wondered how we ended up with a holiday in early September to end summer and kick off the fall frenzy? Beginning in 1882 and culminating in 1895, a day off for working people became a reality. Termed simply Labor Day, the holiday went national in 1895 giving virtually all workers a day of rest from their manual labor.  A debate rages as to who gets the credit for Labor Day. Peter McGuire of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor is said to have suggested the holiday with these words about workers, "Who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." Others say Matthew Maguire, the Secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists, is the instigator of the holiday in 1882. I'm guessing an Irish guy with some variation of McGuire for a last name started the holiday we now celebrate on the lake, at the beach or at the pool. Back then people worked very long hours and worked with their hands and their backs. It was a prized day off.
 
Rotarians worth their salt (which is another excellent historical study) know hard work and appreciate its outcomes. One cannot impact the world without working at it, sometimes with one's mind but often with one's hands as well. In a couple of weeks our club will be doing manual labor on a water purification site in the Dominican Republic. Bob and Monica will be laboring like its 1895! Even later this week many from our club will be making dry meals for needy people. Hang on as the year is still young. This will be a year of labor. Labor built our country. Labor built Rotary. A working Rotary will save the world!  But, feel free to take Monday off... you'll need the rest.
 
Michael McCullar