Labor Day Fun!

Labor Day is the first Monday in September, which is September 1st this year. The holiday was founded in New York by the Knights of Labor in 1882 as a celebration of the working class. The Socialist Party held a similar celebration on May 1st, which was known as May Day, but the United States opted for the September observance in 1894 to distance any national holiday's association with communism. Labor Day is also strongly associated with the end of the summer season, and students will be going back to school soon.

September 3rd, the U.S. Census Bureau reports that the number of U.S. residents who were born in other countries has grown to more than 33 million, which is larger than the entire population of Canada. The bureau also reports, on September 26th, that the number of Americans living in poverty has increased to 12.1%, which means a good deal more than one American in ten is living in poverty, while $billions are being allocated to support the attack on Iraq by Congress and the Bush Administration.

September 6th finds Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas stepping down, saying Israel's Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat undermined his authority. Arafat nominates Ahmed Qurei, speaker of the Palestinian parliament, as the new prime minister on September 7.

Rosh Hashana begins on September 26th and Yom Kippur starts at sundown on October 5th and continues to sundown on the following day.

Country music legend Johnny Cash dies at 71 years of age in Hendersonville, Tenneesee on September 12th. A member of both the Country Music and Rock Music Halls of Fame, Cash won 11 Grammy Awards and recorded more than 1,500 songs, including "I Walk the Line," "Boy Named Sue" and "Folsom Prison Blues." His wife, June Carter Cash, died at age 73 in Nashville just a few months prior on May 15, 2003.

Woody Allen's "Anything Else" is released on September 19th, and stars Jason Biggs as a comedy writer whose fatal attraction to a neurotic girlfriend, Christina Ricci, is offset by advice from an older comedy writer, Woody Allen. The film also features appearances from Stokard Channing, Danny DeVito, KaDee Strickland, Jimmy Fallon and Diana Krall.

September 20th finds an Iraqi leader, Akila al-Hashimi, one of three women on the Iraqi Governing Council, being critically wounded during an assassination attempt. She dies the next day of complications.

President Bush addresses the UN on September 23rd and urges leaders to look away from the United States-led attack on Iraq to join together in an effort to rebuild the country. French president Jacques Chirac speaks to the members and criticizes the preemptive invasion of the nation.

September 24th report from weapons inspectors in Iraq says still no weapons of mass destruction have been found at the end of a four-month search. And on September 29th, the Justice Department informs the White House it intends to discover who leaked the identity of an active CIA officer to a syndicated columnist and television personality. Former ambassador Joseph Wilson, who is the husband of the ousted CIA agent, claims the Bush administration leaked his wife's name in retribution for his disclosure that Bush's claim about Iraq canvassing Africa for uranium was false.

Informative Links for September: