Labor Day Through The Years - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Labor Day Through The Years

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MONTANA - For many, between the barbecues and the back to school sales, Labor day signals the end of summer.

But while it's nice to have the day off of work to celebrate the end of the long, summers months, the holiday is more than just time away from the office.

Even if they are not stepping foot in the office, most busy moms and dads don't take today off. In fact for most people Labor Day is the day to finally get those last minute errands in, home improvement fixes, and jump on the big sales.

Schools, public libraries, and government offices, including the post office, are closed on Labor Day, but many large retailers remain open. Some even open for extended hours for people to take advantage of blowout labor day sales.

But the holiday was created out of the labor movement of the late 19th century, long before these retailers came into existence.

Labor Day, as a holiday, grew out of the promotion of safe and fair working conditions of the American people back when the average America put in 12 hour work days, seven days a week.

"Organized labor is celebrated on labor day and what organized labor has done to raise the status of working people throughout the United States," says Jim Johnson, secretary treasurer of a local chapter of the American Federation of Music, the largest labor union in the U.S. that represents musicians.

Johnson says he's proud to say he has defended the rights of working musicians for over 20 years.

The first official Labor Day was signed into law way back in 1894, exactly 120 years ago this year, to celebrate the economic and working achievements of the American people.

So next year, when you're hitting the store or summer outdoors, remember Labor Day is about more than door busters deals and last minute grilling. 

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