The history of the United States is in vital respects the history of labor. Free men and women, working for a better life for themselves and their children, settled a continent, built a society, and created and diffused an abundance hitherto unknown to history. Free men and women, affirming their dignity as individuals and asserting their rights as human beings, developed a philosophy of democratic liberty which holds out hope for oppressed peoples across the world.
Yet our achievements, notable as they are, must not distract us from the things we have yet to achieve. If satisfaction with the status quo had been the American way, we would still be 13 small colonies straggling along the Atlantic coast. I urge all Americans, on this Labor Day, to consider what we can do as individuals and as a nation to move speedily ahead [...]
– President John F. Kennedy, Labor Day Statement, September 2, 1963
All American workers, brain workers and manual workers alike, and all the rest of us whose well-being depends on theirs, know that our needs are one in building an orderly economic democracy in which all can profit and in which all can be secure [...] There is no cleavage between white collar workers and manual workers, between artists and artisans, musicians and mechanics, lawyers and accountants and architects and miners.
Tomorrow, Labor Day, belongs to all of us. [...] The Fourth of July commemorates our political freedom — a freedom which without economic freedom is meaningless indeed. Labor Day symbolizes our determination to achieve an economic freedom for the average man which will give his political freedom reality.
– President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Fireside Chat, September 6, 1936