Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Statement by the President: Labor Day.

September 07, 1953

IN THIS year of continuing international tension, we commemorate with an unusual measure of gratitude in our hearts, the day set aside as a salute to American labor, and we contemplate with renewed appreciation the principles that make and keep us a free people.

The workers of America are witnesses, before the world, of the strength, the pride and the prosperity that alone can be won by free labor. They are strong in their independent unions. They are proud beyond the temptations of political subservience. They are an indestructible bulwark of free government.

These witnesses to freedom's blessings give the lie to the sly evil of the promises of totalitarianism. They mock the false insinuation that economic well-being can be purchased only at the cost of political freedom. They are the final answer to those who prate freedom and practice slavery, who excuse terror and aggression in the name of concern for the very workers whose lives they stifle.

Free American labor has won for itself the enjoyment of a standard of living unmatched in history. The contemporary world knows no comparison with it. There is only brutal contrast to it. To this, there is no more pitiful and dramatic testimony than the food which this free people has been able to send to feed hundreds of thousands suffering the peculiar torments of the proletarian paradise of Eastern Germany.

This is a day sincerely to salute American labor: its freedom, its dignity, its matchless productive genius--and the lesson it records for all men to read, for all time to come.

Note: The statement was released at Lowry Air Force Base, Denver, Colo.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, Statement by the President: Labor Day. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231984

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