For many, Labor Day means that symbolic last breath of summer. Most of us forget that the national day off work actually commemorates days at work. The national declaration of the holiday got rushed through legislation after the 1894 Pullman Car Company Strike, one of the largest and bloodiest labor disputes in American history. After George Pullman cut wages and refused talks with organizers, 250,000 railway workers practically brought the nation to its knees. After this, President Grover Cleveland decided that the least he could do was give the country a day off. Of course, even after the end of Pullman's tyrannical paternalism, American workers still face enumerable problems. To observe the more somber aspect of the day, local labor leaders and human rights activists discuss the ongoing challenges facing workers, as well as the recent political upheaval in Honduras on Friday, Sept. 4, at the First United Methodist Church. 9 Ross Valley Drive, San Rafael. $5–$10. 7:30pm. 415.924.3227.
Dubbing itself the "Historical Jewel of Marin County," the tiny unincorporated community of Tomales takes pride in its rich history. A turn-of-the century railroad stop, Tomales boasts that it is the only remaining place untouched by Marin's development and growth. The town, 250 citizens in all, takes that pride to the streets with its Founder's Parade and Barbecue, as well as wine and cheese tasting, beer, oysters, a book sale, arts 'n' crafts, a pie auction and loads of good cheer. The celebration for this unique ranching community raises the roof on Sunday, Sept. 6, in downtown Tomales. Between First and John streets, Tomales. Noon. Free. 707.878.2006.
While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has struggled all summer through the tortuous debates of healthcare reform, it has been able to get some things done: September brings the first ever DHHS-designated National Yoga Month. The national event and campaign, organized by the Yoga Foundation, aims to make a healthier nation by way of assuming the position. With participation from hundreds of yoga studios across the country, Yoga Month will provide one free week of yoga classes to anyone with an open mind and the willingness to use a squishy mat. Locally, the Yoga Center of Sonoma County is offering up the wisdom of its instructors for free classes on Mondays and Wednesdays throughout the month. 300 S. A St., Santa Rosa. Noon–1pm and 7–8pm. Free. 707.527.9642.