Mayor’s Column – Labor Day


“I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no one a living but that it owes everyone an opportunity to make a living.”  John D. Rockefeller

It has been 135 years since New Jersey established Labor Day as a holiday. In 1887, Oregon was the first state to grant legal status to the holiday but listed the date as the first Saturday in June. That same year Colorado, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey adopted the holiday and proclaimed it be observed on the first Monday in September. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill recognizing the first Monday in September as a national holiday.

The initial idea for Labor Day as a general labor festival may have originated in Canada in 1872, which today also celebrates “Labour Day” on the first Monday in September. Our holiday traces its roots back to 1882 when Peter McGuire, a union leader, suggested that there be a celebration honoring American workers and organized a parade in New York City. Initially that morning, few people showed up and organizers worried that workers had been reluctant to surrender a day’s pay to join the rally. But soon the crowds began flowing in from across the city and by the end of the day it is estimated that 10,000 people had marched in the parade and joined the festivities afterward in what the press dubbed “a day of the people.” McGuire said that there was no particular significance to the date and it was chosen because it fell roughly halfway between the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. This holiday is a continuing national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country.

Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday – a street parade to exhibit to the public “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” to the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.

Enjoy a day off but take a moment to pay tribute to America’s labor force.

** This year we wrap up the summer with a new and exciting free event, Country Rock Music Night on Friday, Sept. 16 from 6:30pm-8:30pm at the Town Center in front of the former Macy’s store entrance.  Dance and tap along to your favorite songs with The Desperados, a five-piece group of seasoned musicians from Jersey. The “Beer Garden” and food trucks will open at 5:30pm.  Come out with your chairs and enjoy this great show.  For more information, visit or call the Show Hotline at 856-882-SHOW.

** The Lions Gate Susan Love Family Golf Classic will be on Sunday, Sept.18 from 11am-3pm rain or shine at Golf Land. For more information, contact Lisa Goldwasser at

** The Voorhees Business Association will hold its Annual Bowling Fundraiser on Sept. 23 from 6pm-8pm at the Big Event, 1536 Kings Hwy North, Cherry Hill.  Proceeds benefit the Voorhees Township Police Holiday Fund.  For more information, contact Lisa Goldwasser at

** The Voorhees Animal Orphanage (VAO) will hold its 26th Annual Woofstock Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 11am-4 pm at the Voorhees Town Center (rain date is Sunday, Sept. 25). It is the biggest fundraising event of the year for the Animal Orphanage. This year, the Camden County Commissioners are again partnering in the event. For more information about Woofstock or the Animal Orphanage, visit or

** The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club is hosting a fundraiser on Oct. 1 from 10am-2pm at Golf Land. There will be 18 holes of pitch and putt golf or mini golf, food, refreshments, prizes and games. Tickets and sponsorships are available. For more details, please call John Conners at 856-261-8738 or go to

** The Animal Welfare Association of Voorhees is hosting “Puptoberfest” on Saturday, Oct. 1 from 3pm-8pm at the AWA’s Adoption & Education Center, 509 Centennial Blvd.  For more information about this fundraiser, visit or contact Meggin Olivo at;  (856) 424-2288 x113.