Monday, September 1, 2003

Labor Day: Historic proclamations

New Hampshire, 1894

"I recommend that the day be appropriately observed throughout the state, and that the ceremonies be conducted in harmony with the superior motives which dignify our calendar with a new and popular holiday. To the end that in the inspirations and lessons of the day the peaceful and fraternal relations now existing in this state may be strengthened and renewed, I recommend that all unnecessary business be suspended, and that the voice and sympathy of the people, without distinction of classes, join in a full and harmonious commemoration of labor's festival."

John B. Smith, Governor


Michigan, 1902

"As a just tribute to the dignity of labor and in appreciation of the general prosperity, it is requested that as far as possible all places of business of whatever kind be closed in order that employes and employers may cooperate in such exercises as may contribute to the cultivation of a better understanding of their public and private relations, and the promotion of their mutual interests. Labor is the foundation upon which the prosperity of nations is builded and its advancement the duty of every citizen."

A.F. Bliss, Governor


West Virginia, 1904

"With the view of carrying out the spirit and beneficial objects of the law, and in recognition of the dignity of honest industry and its commanding importance in the Commonwealth, as also in token of the highly prosperous industrial conditions existing throughout the State, it is recommended that all West Virginia establishments employing workmen be closed upon that day, and that employers cooperate with employes in every way possible in worthy observance of the occasion. Wherever found, whether in mines or in banking houses, in factories or in public offices, in stores or in the fields, human industry is entitled to respect as well as to the right to earn substantial reward. I therefore urge all classes of citizens to observe the day as a general holiday in honor of the forces which have contributed so greatly to the marvelous prosperity of the State and Nation, and have made the standard of American citizenship above that of any other Nation of the earth."

Albert B. White, Governor

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