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Pebbles and America mark Labor Day weekend the best way they know

September 5, 2010 |  5:38 am

Pebbles celebrates the true meaning of Labor Day

Contrary to the belief of some, the traditional summer-ending holiday of Labor Day was not designed as the day Americans labor the hardest of any all year.

Nor was it clever advance planning for gas grills, the start of pro and college football seasons or intended to cause urban traffic jams that might someday rival China's.

Labor union officers, copying similar workers' celebrations in Canada, had marched in local parades previously.

But this weekend marks the 116th official observance of a hastily-designed federal day off designed by President Grover Cleveland to mollify an angry organized labor movement that had just seen federal marshalls and troops kill some workers during the quelling of the Pullman strike. Democrat Cleveland, the only U.S. president to serve two non-consecutive terms, lost in 1894 anyway.

The idea though was to pick a day at the calendrical opposite end of that socialist workers holiday of May 1. And so the first Monday of every September became Labor Day when most Americans work the least of any. (See photo above.)

Passing the holiday legislation is also one of the rare times that Americans got to see a piece of legislation zip through Congress by dual unanimous votes. Put that in your post-partisan BBQ and smoke it.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Paul Guggenbuehl (Pebbles marks Labor Day appropriately).