Happy Labor Day
For me, the Telethon brings all sorts of warm childhood memories to mind. When I was quite young, my Dad and I always vowed to stay up all night and watch the whole thing. I never did make it till morning - usually falling to sleep after only a few hours. Dad later told me that he too went to sleep, but he always waited till I'd drifted off, and then he made an effort to wake up first, pretending he'd made it through. Clever Dad! What parts we did stay up for though, were always fun. We'd watch entertainers (singers, actors etc) perform. We'd watch the amazing Jerry Lewis host the event (this will be the first year he doesn't since the fifties), and of course the hourly cut-aways to local network folks and the call centers accepting donations. Dad and I usually played board games too, and generally just had a fun gab fest and great Daddy/Daughter bonding time.
The tradition faded as I grew older. Still, those memories are dear to me, and this holiday will always bring them back. I always thought I'd continue the tradition with my own children, but starting with this week's telethon, they've shrunk it to a six hour event. Not quite the challenge the all night show offered. Oh well. Even if I don't have the opportunity to repeat my own childhood tradition, I can still share those fun times with my kids simply by telling them all about the fun I had with Grandpa all those years ago. ...
and now for some trivia:
US Labor Day History... (thank you Wikipedia!) The first big Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York. It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation's trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers' Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair, which it had been observed to commemorate. All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.
MDA Telethon History.... (again, thank you Wikipedia!) The MDA Labor Day Telethon (previously known as The Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon and The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon) is an annual telethon in the United States to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The first MDA telethon was during the Thanksgiving Day weekend of 1952 and titled Party for MDA. It has been held annually since 1966. As of 2009, the telethon had raised $2.45 billion since its inception. The telethon was hosted by actor and comedian, Jerry Lewis, from its 1966 inception until 2010. Starting in 2011, it will be seen the Sunday evening before Labor Day for six hours; This edition, scheduled for syndication to approximately 160 television stations throughout the United States on Sunday, September 4, 2011, will also be the first edition without Jerry Lewis as host.