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Top 50 Best Labor Day Quotes

As the summer wanes and fall begins, many look forward to celebrating the long weekend Labor Day offers. America’s Labor Day is observed every first Monday in September and has evolved since it first originated during 1882. Arguments exist regarding who first introduced Labor Day with some crediting Matthew Maguire, a machinist who served as the secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York, and others crediting Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor who witnessed a similar labor festival in Toronto, Canada.

Historically, Oregon state was the first to allow Labor Day to be observed during 1887. Thirty states followed suit by 1894 when it officially became a federal holiday during the labor movement following the end of the Pullman Strike. Initially celebrated with parades, festivals, and exhibits, Labor Day’s purpose was to show citizens “the strength and espirit de corps of the trade and labor organizations.”

In the days since, many significant historical figures have offered inspirational speeches and means of advancing the principles of the labor movement as well as the importance of education. Festivities evolved to include appearances by politicians (particularly those seeking election) and other prominent figures at picnics, fireworks, art events, barbecues, parties, water sports, and other formal and informal gatherings. Additionally, families with school aged children, teenagers, and college students frequently travel before school resumes. Sports fans also look forward to this holiday since it marks the kick-off to National Football League and college level football seasons as most games begin the Thursday after Labor Day.

To honor and commemorate Labor Day, we’ve collected the Top 50 Best Labor Day Quotes offered by many prominent figures of the past and present. The wisdom and respect the following words provide remind us that it’s not only about the day off, but the people whose work tremendously impacts our lives.

1. “A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life depend on the labors of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving.” Albert Einstein

2. “My grandfather once told me there were two kinds of people: those who do the work and those who take the credit. He told me to be in the first group; there was much less competition.” Indira Gandhi

3. “Without labor nothing prospers.” Sophocles

4. “The miracle of the seed and the soil is not available by affirmation; it is only available by labor.” John Rohn

5. “Work is no disgrace; the disgrace is idleness.” Greek proverb

6. “Keep working hard and you can get anything that you want. If God gave you the talent, you should go for it. But don’t think it’s going to be easy. It’s hard!” Aaliyah

7. “A man is not paid for having a head and hands, but for using them.” Elbert Hubbard
8. “Labor Day is a glorious holiday because your child will be going back to school the next day. It would have been called Independence Day, but that name was already taken.” Bill Dodds

9. “There is no labor a person does that is undignified; if they do it right.” Bill Cosby

10. “Men are made stronger on the realization that the helping hand they need is at the end of their own right arm.” Sidney J. Phillips

11. “The end of labor is to gain leisure.” Aristotle

12. “There is precious little hope to be got out of whatever keeps us industrious, but there is a chance for us whenever we cease work and become stargazers.” H.M. Tomlinson

13. “There is no substitute for hard work.” Thomas Edison

14. “God sells us all things at the price of labor.” Leonardo da Vinci

15. “No labor, however humble, is dishonoring.” The Talmud

16. “I believe in the dignity of labor, whether with head or hand; that the world owes no man a living but that it owes every man an opportunity to make a living.” John D. Rockefeller

17. “Labor was the first price, the original purchase-money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by laor, that all weather of the world was originally purchased.” Adam Smith

18. “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10 (NIV)

19. “No great achievement is possible without persistent work.” Bertrand Russell

20. “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” Ovid

21. “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.” Martin Luther King Jr.

22. “It is labour indeed that puts the difference on everything.” John Locke

23. “Work isn’t to make money; you work to justify life.” Marc Chagall

24. “Under the spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith a mighty man is he
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
He earns whatever he can,
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

25. “A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.” Thomas Jefferson

26. “He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.” Meanander

27. “Work hard, but not just to please your masters when they are watching. As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” Ephesians 6:6-7

28. “Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another.” Anatole France

29. “The man who doesn’t relax and hoot a few hoots voluntarily, now and then, is in great danger of hooting hoots and standing on his head for the edification of the pathologist and trained nurse, a little later on.” Elbert Hubbard

30. “Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which color to slide down on the rainbow.” Douglas Pagels

31. “The man who rolls up his shirt sleeves is rarely in danger of losing his shirt.” Anonymous

32. “If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend.” Doug Larson

33. “It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.” Theodore Roosevelt

34. “The only liberty an inferior man really cherishes is the liberty to quit work, stretch out in the sun, and scratch himself.” H.L. Mencken

35. “A mind always employed is always happy. This is the true secret, the grand recipe, for felicity.” Thomas Jefferson

36. “Heaven is blessed with perfect rest but the blessing of earth is toil.” Henry van Dyke
37. “I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.” Thomas Jefferson

38. “Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, some done,
Has earned a night’s repose.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

39. “I know you’ve heard it a thousand times before. But it’s true - hard work pays off. If you want to be good, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you don’t love something, then don’t do it.” Ray Bradbury

40. “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Confucius

41. “I watched a small man with thick calluses on both hands work 15 and 16 hours a day. I saw him once literally bleed from the bottoms of his feet, a man who came here uneducated, alone, unable to speak the language, who taught me all I needed to know about faith and hard work by the simple eloquence of his example.” Mario Cuomo

42. “The one thing that matters is the effort.” Antoine de-Sainte-Exupery

43. “The reward of a thing well done, is to have done it.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

44. “Nobody can think straight who does not work. Idleness warps the mind.” Henry Ford

45. “Hard work doesn’t guarantee success, but it improves its chances.” B.J. Gupta

46. “Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” Thomas Jefferson

47. “God give me work, till my life shall end
And life, till my work is done.” Epitaph of Winifred Holtby

48. “I would rather have a big burden and a strong back, than a weak back and a caddy to carry life’s luggage.” Elbert Hubbard

49. “Thunder is good, thunder is impressive;
but it is lightning that does the work.” Mark Twain

50. “Before the reward there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.” Ralph Ransom

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