Happy Fourth of July! Get out your barbecue grills, fireworks and gather your families to celebrate the birth of America and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress.
Independence Day marks a weekend of celebrations including parades, picnics, fireworks and other family fun-filled activities.
Today, the first Monday in September, is Labor Day in the US. The legal holiday has been celebrated for more than 100 years and came out of the labor movement. It is a tribute to contributions made by workers.
To many, however, the three-day weekend is the last blast of summer, with many communities’ schools opening on the day after.
For more on the holiday, look at the Department of Labor's Labor Day 2012 page, with videos, resources and more.
Although more than a century old, the actual founder of the day is not certain. Some believe that the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Peter J. McGuire, who was also a founder of the American Federation of Labor, was the first to suggest a day to honor workers. Others believe that a machinist, Matthew Maguire – we don’t know if he was related to Peter - founded the day.
This is a guest post from Rachel L. Swarns, a correspondent who has written for the New York Times since 1995. Rachel has published a book called: “American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama” in which she describes the many multicolored strands that make up the first lady’s family tree. In this guest post Rachel shares with us some of her discoveries about Michelle Obama’s lineage.
When Michelle Obama first moved into the White House in 2009, people knew her as a Harvard-educated lawyer, a mother of two and the nation’s first African-American first lady. But very little was known about her family origins. No one – not even Mrs. Obama -- had any idea how fascinating her family story was.