Jews Invented The Weekend: Really, there's no need to thank us.
"The idea of the two-day weekend, as Witold Rybczynski explained in "Waiting for the Weekend" (Penguin USA, 1992), is a relatively new concept, a result of the Industrial Revolution. It was largely invented by unions in the first decade of the last century to accommodate their Jewish members, who needed to take Saturday off to observe the Sabbath. Henry Ford was its unlikely champion; he figured that more leisure time for workers would be good for the burgeoning car industry." (via NYT)
"The first factory to adopt a five-day week was a New England spinning mill, in 1908, expressly to accommodate its Jewish workers. The six-day week had always made it hard for Jews to observe the Sabbath, for if they took Saturday off and worked on Sunday, they risked offending the Christian majority." (Witold Rybczynski via The Atlantic Monthly)
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