A Brief History of Labor Day

I thought that, if you happen to be checking out my blog over this long weekend, it might be worthwhile to learn why so many people have Monday off, particularly because I honestly didn’t know until I just researched the holiday.  Turns out that there’s more to it than the unofficial end of Summer…

Why do we celebrate Labor Day?
Labor Day was created to honor the working men and women of the country, originally in the form of parades and festivals.  (Currently in the form of beer and BBQs.)  It’s literally a holiday that exists just to take a break.  Cool!

Where did Labor Day begin?
Labor Day #1 was celebrated in NYC on Tuesday, September 5, 1882.  (We’re 22 years away from the 150th anniversary!)  It was organized by the Central Labor Union. By 1885, many cities were celebrating it.  By 1887, the holiday was law in five states, with Oregon being first.  In 1894, Congress finally caught up with the 31 total states that had made it a holiday over the prior twelve years.  President Glover Cleveland signed it into law.  It makes me feel a tiny bit better to know that Congress was slow back then too. 

Why September?
Believe it or not, it seems to be simply because September used to be a holiday dry spell.  The first Monday in September is halfway between July 4th Celebrations and Thanksgiving.  This means that, come September, we hit a five month stretch where there is at least one US Federal Holiday per month.  (March, April, May and August are the only months without a Federal Holiday.)

Now stop reading and go celebrate the United States of America’s workers!




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