what is labor day

What is Labor Day? A Brief History Of Labor Day


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    What is Labor Day? If you’ve ever wondered why Labor Day is on the first Monday of September, this article will help to answer that question. The history behind Labor Day can be traced back to an event in 1894 and its roots are still seen today.

    What began as a day for workers to rest and enjoy time off from work has evolved into a federal holiday which honors the American workforce, as well as those who have died or been injured while working by taking a break from work themselves-be it for a day or a whole week!

    Want more information about how we celebrate Labor Day? Read on! 

    Labor Day is an Important U.S. Holiday

    When I was a kid, I loved Labor Day. It meant sleeping in and spending the day playing outside. Now that I’m an adult, I don’t particularly like this holiday as much because it means missing work and getting paid for it. However, as a kid, Labor Day felt like more of a celebration of America’s workers than anything else. But what is the history behind this holiday?

    How did Labor Day begin?

    On May 14 th, 1886, a group of American workers calling themselves The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions unilaterally established a holiday similar to New Years called “Labor Day”. This day was meant to celebrate the achievements of American workers. In 1887, Chicago held its very first Labor Day Parade which was attended by over 300,000 people. In that same year, many other U.S. cities followed their lead in celebrating this new holiday. 

    In 1894 Congress passed an act establishing Labor Day as a federal legal public holiday in September… but only if the individual states could go along with it! By 1907 all states except for two had adopted the holiday.

    What is Labor Day?

    The word “Labor” in this context comes from the Latin word Labor which means work or toil. What’s also interesting is that historically, on May 1st many countries had traditional festivals celebrating the change of seasons. Where young adults would choose their partners for love/marriage and celebrate by dancing around maypoles. This was done to welcome the spring season. It was only later on that it became known as May Day. With so many different celebrations happening on May 1st, The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions chose September 2nd to be the date for their new American holiday so there wouldn’t be any confusion between holidays.

    This federal holiday honors the American workforce

    The American workforce is a part of a region which has many strengths. The labor force in America is not only the largest in the world, but it is also among the most productive. This productivity reflects a rigorous work ethic and progressive educational system.

    The history of Labor Day in the United States began in 1882 when New York City’s Central Labor Union called for an eight-hour workday. They wanted to address dangerous working conditions such as lack of ventilation and light, corrupting morals, and economic abuse. They wanted the government to instill reforms. They were able to reach an agreement with local employers.

     The Central Labor Union had developed a citywide holiday for everyone instead of workers alone. So that all could participate-including those who had recently immigrated into the country. Early on in 1882, labor unions across U.S. cities held similar demonstrations which led to strikes for this labor reform. However, it wasn’t until September 5th when union representatives from throughout New York City convened at Gallatin Place (now Madison Square Park) and declared their success.

    An eight-hour workday would now exist within NYC! Nowadays there are parades commemorating the achievements of workers all around the US. It is a good time for family and community members to get together and celebrate the holiday! 


    Labor Day is a federal holiday that celebrates the economic and social achievements of American workers. It can be celebrated by many different things, such as taking time off work or visiting family and friends. Labor Day was established in 1882 when New York City’s labor committee decided to declare the first Monday in September as an observance for this celebration

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