WASHINGTON - By many accounts, the meaning of Labor Day has become clouded since its origin.
“A lot of them don't know the history because a lot of people don't pay attention in school, so that's probably why,” said Fort Meade resident Alexandra Pugh.
Pugh said she did pay attention.
“I know it's a holiday that the labor unions got put into place,” said Pugh. “So for me, I'm glad that all the work that they put in is being honored on Labor Day. I'm really glad that they got their child labor laws put in place and I'm really glad that we have a day off in September as well.”
About four in every ten people in the American workforce are working this Labor Day and some of them often know little about the holiday's significance.
Just steps away from labor union leader Samuel Gompers’ memorial in Northwest D.C., we asked people about Labor Day’s meaning. We quickly noticed thoughts about the holiday’s significance were filled with fiction.
“I've seen a lot on Facebook this week about remembering the troops, so I think they confuse it with Memorial Day,” said Pugh.
“It means a day off of work, but at the same time, you do have to take a little bit and think,” said Graham Harmon, a tourist from North Carolina.
“A day off of work,” said Jordan Mathis, another tourist visiting D.C. from North Carolina. “Honestly, I know that's terrible, but it does.”
When asked about knowing the history of Labor Day, Mathis said, “Not really. Not a lot. I'm not a history person so I don't really.”
From celebrating the end of summer, embracing the beginning of fall, firing up the grill, eating out or enjoying a day off from work, Jordan Mathis is not alone.