Monday, September 2, 2013

Celebrate women's contributions

Today is Labor Day. Did you know that the first one was celebrated in 1882 in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union? Later, several states passed legislation creating the holiday; and in 1894 the U.S. Congress passed an act making it a legal holiday.

The idea was to celebrate "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community. Later, more emphasis was placed on the economic and civic significance of the holiday.

Today, Labor Day, we celebrate all workers. We celebrate those who are currently working, those who have worked, those who are looking (desperately!) for work and those only recently released from colleges into the job market.

We celebrate all the ways women have contributed to the economy through the centuries as well—going back to the days when they weren't even seen as adding to the economy. Guess what? They were! And we celebrate Rosie, the Riveter—and all the women who in their own ways have created an atmosphere where women now have choices. My granddaughters will have choices that my mother and grandmother never dreamed of having. When my mother was born, women couldn't even vote! I am so grateful for the changes since then.

Celebrate women who stay home and raise families. Celebrate women who work outside the home. Celebrate those who do both. Here's to all of us who make this nation what it is—and who contribute to improvements globally as well!

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