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JAMA 100 Years Ago
March 7, 2012


JAMA. 2012;307(9):889. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.121a

A writer1 in that eminently practical paper, the Survey, attacks a problem related to the one discussed above. He observes that the irregular distribution of the holidays throughout the year and their changing coincidence with the days of the week often entail hardship. “For instance, where a holiday falls on Tuesday or Friday, many business concerns seize the opportunity in dull time to cut their pay-roll by closing down on the Monday preceding or Saturday following, thus enforcing a two-day holiday with corresponding loss to the employee; then again, when such holidays fall in mid-week, the holiday spirit on the days preceding and following seriously interferes with the efficiency of the worker and thus involves a hardship on the employer.” The remedy proposed is the transposition of most holidays to Mondays and their more even distribution throughout the year: thus Washington Day would be observed on the Monday following February 22, Lincoln Day on the first Monday in April, and so on. “This order would secure for our industrial army a two and one-half days' respite from toil, with loss of only one day's pay, and would insure for the employer a better week's product from five consecutive days' labor after two and one-half days' rest.” The reformer excepts Christmas and New Year's Day from the working of this rule, but he certainly ought to make the reformation complete and include them—and, while the operating instruments are sterilized and ready, free Easter from its adhesions to the vernal equinox by giving it a definite date.

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