What can you say about Monday? Widely renowned as the worst day of the week, it’s the killer of all weekends and the unfortunate signal that our dreaded work week has begun. We hate Mondays so much it has even caused an uncurable epidemic known only as “the Sunday Scaries”. If Mondays were a human being, we’d all binge watch the Netflix documentary in bewilderment trying to understand how a psycho murderer could live among us and get away with such crimes for so long.
We’ve all wondered who actually invented Mondays so we could send them death threats or a bag of flaming poo. Unfortunately, sad to say, no one actually invented the day Monday with the cruel intentions of tormenting the working class until the end of time. But to understand how Mondays came about, we need to go back in time to figure out how the 5 day 40 hour work week was created.
First stop on our trip through history, we have to travel all the way back to the Roman Era. These ancient lunatics are responsible for creating the 7 day week and naming the days after the planets. If you couldn’t guess, that means Monday is named after the Moon from the literal translation “Moon’s Day”. That would explain why we think Mondays are so boring. The Moon isn’t even a planet. It’s just this clingy rock that won’t leave Earth alone, which I guess makes sense if you consider Monday to be the day we want to get rid of but can’t. Maybe all our troubles would be gone if Austin Powers had just let Dr. Evil blow up the moon. If you’re as mad at the Romans as I am, don’t worry, they got theirs.
The Romans may have named it, but they’re not responsible. To find the true source, we have to fast forward a bit more to find out who invented the work week. Believe it or not, people in the 1800s used to struggle through a 100 hour 7 day work week. For those of you who struggle through math, that’s an average of 14 hours per day with no days off. That’s absolute insanity!  Thankfully, our ancestors fought for their rights and created what we know as the 40 hour work week.
The first known company to implement the 40 hour work week in the United States was a New England cotton mill in 1908. The owners of the mill allowed the Jewish workers to take off on Saturday for the sabbath and let the Christian workers off Sunday for their day of worship. This essentially translated to two days off: Saturday and Sunday.
Shortly after, in 1926, everyone’s favorite car maker, Henry Ford, introduced the 40 hour work week and five working days with no decrease in pay. Apparently, workers found this to be a much more attractive opportunity so other factories followed suit until it became more widespread.
The final push came in 1938 when President FDR signed the Fair Labor Standards Act. This act created the right to a minimum wage plus overtime and mandated a maximum 40 hour work week.
Unfortunately, no one person invented Monday. I guess we as a society are guilty of this crime, but in retrospect, a 40 hour work week is way better than a 100 hour 7 day work week. So if you see a really old person, chance are they weren’t alive during that time, but hug them anyway. Their people’s did this for us.
Fun Side Note: The earliest recorded use of the term “weekend” occurred in 1879 in an English magazine. Apparently, many Britons decides to use their Sundays for drinking with friends instead of resting and praying (sound familiar?). They used to drink so much that they would have to call out of work on Monday to recover. This trend became known as “Saint Monday”. We can’t get rid of Monday, but we may be able to revive Saint Monday.
Cheers! Happy Saint Monday!
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Silent Riot