National Geographic News
19 comments
Jhon Cabana
Jhon Cabana

Mmmmm, except for this practice, is a good photo.

Helen Freeman
Helen Freeman

This is what Great Uncle Burt Freeman did.  When he and his brothers were teenagers they headed to the Northwest to cut timber.  He was a 'Timber Cruiser' all his life, I think.
When Uncle Phil and I were at Grad. schoool at U. W we bought a lot at Paradise Bay on Hood Canal and you could still see these stumps, some eight feet high and eight across, on the property.

Ray R.
Ray R.

Hi, I've noted on many of the comments folks stating that many look to labor day as just another holiday. So true, we should however just take a peek in our own family tree. We would soon find that the "holiday" was truly earned by ancestors preoccupied by needing to feed their families. They were ready at times to do almost anything so loved ones could eat, be clothed, educated.


Mom, Dad, Baba, Grandma, Dido, Grandpa, all the way back as far as our memory would allow. All cultures the same. Worked to the bone, mutilated, literally worked to death. Still happens in some countries today! Quite festive indeed.


What all these folks had in common though, the universal bond of all these workers was and is Poverty! The conditions set upon them through their status in society. Being set upon by someone with means to exploit the misfortunes of the poor. Knowing that if anyone refused they were easily replaced with another just as poor. Whipped, beaten, humiliated to make the fortunate profits that would continue to enable them to exploit. Still goes on today!


Bless You All who gave their blood, sweat and tears for their loved ones. A holiday Truly, Truly Earned!

Shannon Poland
Shannon Poland

The one that stuck with me - Precious Water-

Water is more important then money, think that one over....


Robert Miner
Robert Miner

As shown, there's all type's of labor, but the Iron workers without a doubt,  have nerves of steel.

Kathy Castrataro
Kathy Castrataro

Thankyou for sharing all these wonderful photo's and sharing the great stories around the world…keep up the good work…:)

Radu Andrei
Radu Andrei

Did nat geographic hire only morons lately? How is it any reason of celebration, the destruction of our planet? 

Ben Mater
Ben Mater

The image of workers cutting down that magnificent giant tree--something that if left alive today would draw people from all across the world--is a sad choice to honor the spirit of work. Those people probably didn't love destroying forests. Labor Day should honor those who work in the spirit of creating something better for all humanity, and the planet. At least NG didn't include a slaveowner whipping his workers, that might have been a hard job too.

Christine Dell'Amore
Christine Dell'Amore

Hi everyone,


Thanks for your comments about other countries celebrating Labor Day. I made the fix so it no longer says that Canada is the only other country that celebrates Labor Day. Best, Christine Dell'Amore, Editor

Mitra R. Ramkissoon
Mitra R. Ramkissoon

"Canada is the only other country that celebrates Labor Day. In Canada, it's spelled Labour Day and is also held on the first Monday in September." 

In Trinidad and Tobago Labour Day was declared an annual national holiday in 1973. Celebrated on June 19th, it is the anniversary of the day of the Butler Oilfield Riots which took place in 1937.

Paul Justham
Paul Justham

Other countries were not so terrified of associations with the world-wide labor movement as to recognize the 1st of May as a worker's day.

Zeynep Goktas
Zeynep Goktas

Turkey celebrates labor day on May 1st also. Maybe the author meant "Canada is the only other country that celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday in September" ???

Cony Mollet
Cony Mollet

In Mexico Labor day is named El día del trabajo and is on May 1st, like in many other countries.

Seb Budereaux
Seb Budereaux

"Canada is the only other country that celebrates Labor Day. In Canada, it's spelled Labour Day and is also held on the first Monday in September."

There is Labor Day in France as well (called "Fête du Travail", on May 1st) ;-)

Great pics

Maggie P.
Maggie P.

Truly excellent photos, as far as things go, BUT ... !

I'm disappointed these photos don't include images of worker struggles. In the US today is a good day to reflect - for instance - on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire aftermath of worker organization for safety, and on the Ludlow Colorado coal miner Massacre. 

One reason to celebrate workers is to recognize their value and contribution. As a part of that recognition we need to recall they've gone to jail, been beaten, and have died on behalf of rights today taken for granted. 

(I've long wondered at 'economics' sections of media being labeled the "business" section, with complete absence of a corresponding "employee/worker" section! This practice seems to fit a social meme that workers are somehow 'less than' managers and owners! How can we say we 'celebrate' workers once a year if our broader cultural/political themes and policies ignore or 'diss' them?)

Graeme S.
Graeme S.

Australia celebrates Labour Day!

Australia Celebrating the Australian labour movement and specifically the achievement of a working day limited to eight hours, the Labour Day public holiday is fixed by the various state and territory governments, and so varies considerably. It is the first Monday in October in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia and, since 2013, Queensland. In both Victoria and Tasmania, it is the second Monday in March (though the latter calls it Eight Hours Day). In Western Australia, Labour Day is the first Monday in March. In the Northern Territory, it is called May Day and occurs on the first Monday in May

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