Most of us know that Monday, Sept. 6, is the Labor Day holiday. It is a day to honor the contributions of laborers. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. President Grover Cleveland signed a law to make the first Monday in September the federal holiday Labor Day. 

From sundown on Sept. 6 until nightfall on Sept. 8 is Rosh Hashanah (“head of the year”), the Jewish New Year. It is the first day in the period of 10 Jewish High Holy Days, which ends with Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year (Day of Atonement, fasting and prayer). Yom Kippur occurs from sunset on Sept. 15 to nightfall on Sept. 16. Jewish holidays always evoke memories of my late Jewish soulmate, Ivan Lippitz, a patient and compassionate human being, who took the time to explain to me the meaning and history of Jewish holidays. 

Sunday, Sept. 12, is National Grandparents Day. The day was initiated by West Virginia resident Marian McQuade to fall on the first Sunday after Labor Day. In 1978 President Jimmy Carter declared the first Sunday after Labor Day to be National Grandparents Day. Although I did not have biological grandparents during my childhood, I greatly appreciated those men and women who assumed the roles of grandparents. They loved me, guided me, and invested in my future, something we should all strive to do for others. 

From Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month, a month to promote the history, culture and contributions of Hispanic-Americans whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. It was introduced by California Congressman George E. Brown and observed by President Lyndon Johnson for a week in June 1968. The date was based on the dates of independence won by Latin American countries. The week was later extended to 30 days by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.  

In June 2008, Congress recognized September as National Gospel Music Heritage Month in observance of its contributions to American life. In its legislation it recognized that the “message, rhythms, and melodies of gospel music can be traced to multiple and diverse influences and foundations, including African-American spirituals.” (Wikipedia) Gospel music is an historical American art form that spans generations and runs deep in the foundations of America. 

There are many other titles for the month of September. See September Monthly Observances. 

Peggy Tarr

Peggy Tarr has been a columnist for the Evanston RoundTable since its founding in 1998. Born in Bruce Springsteen's hometown of Freehold, New Jersey, she graduated from Rutgers University with a degree...