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Happy Labor-Grandma Moses-Google Day!


Monday is a big national holiday in the United States, and a little holiday or two as well.

September seventh, like every first Monday in September, is Labor Day. Just about everything official is closed - schools, banks, state and federal government offices. In fact, all sorts of folks have the day off - with pay - in tribute to the labor movement and themselves as working people, and also to mark the informal end to the summer beach and swimming-pool season.

And Monday will be a sort of National Lots of Other Things Day as well. Like every day of the year, special anniversaries, birthdays, and odd holidays - if you want to call them that - will be noted and celebrated.

Monday, for instance, is the beginning of National Payroll Week - and getting paid is something that all the laborers celebrating Labor Day value highly. It is also the 95th anniversary of the opening of the New York City post office building on Eighth Avenue. That's significant to the rest of the country because a famous saying was inscribed on that building. Freely translated from the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, it reads, Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds. It became the unofficial motto of the U.S. Postal Service.

Monday also marks the birth of the late rockabilly singer Buddy Holly in 1936, and the 11th anniversary of the founding of Google, the Internet search-engine company. It's Grandma Moses Day, too! Anna Mary Grandma Moses was a renowned primitive painter who did not pick up a brush until she was 78. She died at age 101 in 1961 and is remembered, at least by her fans, to this day on her birthday.

Every day is like that in America - a celebration of something, somewhere. The most fun this Labor Day might be found at the annual Great American Bathtub Race down Front Street in Nome, Alaska.

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