Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September celebrating the economic and social contributions of workers.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
It was first nationally recognized in 1894 to placate unionists following the Pullman Strike. With the decline in union membership, the holiday is generally viewed as a time for barbecues and the end of summer vacations – and time to go back to school in Fairfax County – and piano lessons!
• 1940 ~ Artie Shaw and his orchestra recorded Temptation on the Victor label.
• 1951 ~ Chrissie Hynde, Guitarist, singer, songwriter with The Pretenders
• 1972 ~ Curtis Mayfield earned a gold record for his Superfly album, from the movie of the same name. The LP contained the hits, Freddie’s Dead and Superfly. Both songs were also million sellers.
• 1975 ~ Steve Anderson set a record for picking a guitar. Anderson, 22, picked for 114 hours, 7 minutes, breaking the old record by over four hours.
• 2001 ~ Igor Buketoff, an American conductor who specialized in Russian music and contemporary opera, died at the age of 87. Buketoff was best known for his orchestration of the first act of Rachmaninoff’s unfinished opera, Monna Vanna. Buketoff led the Philadelphia Orchestra in the world premiere in 1984. Buketoff also was recognized for restoring folk texts to Tchaikovsky’s1812 Overture. Buketoff earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Juilliard School, and later directed the choral departments there and at Adelphi College and Columbia University. He won the first Alice Ditson Award for outstanding American conductors in 1941. He won it again in 1967. In 1959, Buketoff established the World Music Bank – now called the International Contemporary Music Exchange – to promote modern orchestral music.
• 2001 ~ Stelios Kazantzidis, a legendary Greek folk singer with a career spanning more than half
a century, died at the age of 70. His popularity crossed generations and his music reflected the joys, sorrows and battles of Greece, according to MBI, his recording company. Kazantzidis’ popularity was carried beyond Greek borders by immigrants to such countries as the United States, Canada and Australia, which he often visited. He abandoned the night club scene in 1965 and would only have contact with the public through recordings after that. During his prolific career, he released more than 120 albums. In a letter to the singer shortly before his death, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said Kazantzidis occupied an “unrivaled” chapter in the history of Greek music.