Labor Day Celebration – History and Facts

September 05, 2022 Celebration Days

Celebrating Labor Day at the end of summer makes us happy as we get the privilege to enjoy a long weekend. No matter how much excited we get when we get this holiday, many of us may know the reason why we celebrate Labor Day in the US. In this article, you will find the history and some interesting facts about the Labor Day Celebration.

What is Labor Day?

Labor Day or May Day is celebrated to acknowledge and honor the struggles and achievements of the working class. More than 80 countries mark this day as a public holiday. It is celebrated on the first Monday of September in the US and Canada. However, most other countries celebrate it on the 1st of September.

Why Do We Celebrate Labor Day in the USA?

In the 1800s, labor unions and union leaders came into focus for working towards the improvement of the condition of the laborers. One union leader named Peter J. McGuire, the founder of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters suggested an idea to honor American workers to the Central Labor Union of New York in 1882. This resulted in a parade held by around 10,000 workers from New York on September 5.

The date was chosen randomly as it falls between the 4th of July and the Thanksgiving Holiday. This was a historical parade in American history as no parade was held before that for the support of the laborers. The whole event was sponsored by the Knights of Labor and later in 1884, they chose the first Monday to be taken as Labor Day.

Gradually, all the other states started the Labor Day celebration. The first state to pass the legislation for the day was Oregon in 1887. Then various other states like Colorado, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts followed in its footsteps.

However, the day became a national holiday after a series of riots and violence by unemployed workers of Pullman Palace Car Company on May Day in 1894. This resulted in President Grover Cleveland signing an act making Labor Day a national holiday in 1894.

Activities for Labor Day Celebration

Over the years, the significance of workers has diminished on Labor Day. This is because for most of us it became a long weekend. However, the parade and speech still continue in many places. Besides, many political rallies and campaigns can also be observed on this day.

Many people plan the Labor Day Celebration ahead of time. Some activities for Labor Day are pool parties, barbecues, family get-togethers, picnics, etc. People also enjoy the day watching parades and fireworks displays.

Children and youngsters tend to enjoy this end-of-the-summer celebration seriously. So, they spend the long weekend engaging themselves in various fun activities. Also, many shops and companies offer great Labor Day discounts for this special day.

Some Interesting Facts about Labor Day

  • The first Labor Day in the USA was celebrated on Tuesday in 1882.
  • Canada once held a “Nine-Hour Movement” to support workers’ strikes in 1872.
  • In the 1800s, Americans used to work 12 hours a day and 7 days a week.
  • The tradition of “no white after Labor Day” started when rich Americans stooped wearing their white clothes after returning from their summer vacations. It was because they would return in the fall which is a cooler season where they would prefer wearing darker clothes.
  • As per the research done by the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, Americans will eat 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day unofficially making it the end of Hot Dog season.
  • The popular restaurant chain Waffle House opened its first Waffle House on Labor Day in 1955 in Avondale Estates of Georgia.
  • Labor Day celebration is also for the people who love to grill on a holiday. As per a report by the HPBA’s State of the Barbecue Industry, 55% of Americans love to take out their grill for the holiday.
  • This day also marks the ‘unofficial NFL season kick-off.’ More than 99% time, the first season game of the NFL is officially held on Thursday after Labor Day.

Now that you know so many facts about Labor Day, we hope your Labor Day Celebration will be more fun and meaningful. Wishing everyone A Very Happy Labor Day!

Benyam Gizaw

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