Many of us believe that Labor Days is the "unofficial" last day of summer, but do you know the facts about how and why it became one of the nation's favorite holidays?
In short, this national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers. If you're interested in learning more, check out these fun facts below.
- The first celebrated US Labor Day was on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City, planned by the Central Labor Union.
- 10,000 workers marched from City Hall all the way to 42nd Street and then met with their families in Wendel’s Elm Park for a picnic, concert, and speeches.
- Canada is said to have originated the idea of hosting a day honoring the labor movement. In 1872, they held a “Nine-Hour Movement” to show support for striking workers.
- There is disagreement about who actually proposed Labor Day as a holiday. Some say it was Peter J. McGuire, who was the cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. Others believe that it was Matthew Maguire, a machinist.
- Oregon was the first state to celebrate Labor Day as a legal holiday in 1887.
- The decision to make Labor Day the first Monday of September was approved on June 28, 1894.
- Labor Day started as a part of the labor union movement, to recognize the contributions of men and women in the US workforce, but modernly is seen as a chance to celebrate the last weekend of summer.
- Americans worked 12-hour days seven days a week during the 19th century!
- The Adamson Act was passed on September 3, 1916 to establish an eight-hour work day.
- Historians say the expression “no white after Labor Day” comes from when the upper class would return from their summer vacations and stow away their lightweight, white summer clothes as they returned back to school and work.
- There is still a Labor Day parade in New York City, which takes place throughout the 20 blocks north of the 1882 labor march.
Source: Dosomething.org & the United States Census Bureau