On Monday, September 4, Americans will celebrate Labor Day, the national holiday that was instituted in 1894 and which pays tribute to the social and economic achievements and contributions of American workers.
The idea for Labor Day originated during one of American labor history’s most bleak chapters. In the late 1800s—at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States—the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to make a basic living. In some states, children as young as five or six toiled in factories and even mines across the country, earning a fraction of adult wages. People of all ages, particularly recent immigrants and the very poor, often faced dire, unsafe working conditions, with no breaks and insufficient access to sanitary facilities and fresh air.
That’s why using your first Monday of September each year to get outside and get a breath of fresh air is so filled with meaning. I hope you will use your Labor Day 2017—the unofficial end of summer for most of us—to explore favorite or new destinations and spots, picnic with family and friends, or just relax under some big trees.
Before you go, though, watch this short, inspiring video from BBC One. It not only features enchanting images of nature from around the globe but also British naturalist and wildlife broadcaster David Attenborough reciting the lyrics to the song “What a Wonderful World.”
I wish you a very happy Labor Day.
Here’s to finding your true places and natural habitats,