If Memorial Day is the official beginning of summer, Labor Day is the bookend that brings it to a close. And really, the sentiment behind the should always be top of mind, particularly as we gear up for the busy season ahead.
Labor Day, which always falls on the first Monday in September (FYI, September 5 this year), for a three-day weekend packed with holidays.
Prior to you beeline to the beach, read these interesting Labor Day facts to learn more about the holiday’s past and present.
It all started with a parade
It’s widely believed that on September 5, 1882, union leaders marched in what is the very 1st Labor Day march. North of 20,000 disgruntled New York City laborers from a wide variety of industries, like clothing makers and railroad workers (including children), had enough of their unsafe working circumstances in the wake of being forced to work over 12 hours a day in spaces that were making them sick.
Post-parade activities haven’t changed
After marching under five miles from New York City’s City Hall to 42nd Street, the laborers, who took unpaid leave to be at the occasion, met up with their families for different activities such as enjoying picnics and lighting fireworks.
The founder of Labor Day is widely contested
Nobody is 100 percent sure who really began Labor Day in the United States, however, it’s between two individuals and their last names are incredibly similar. While certain records show that Peter J. McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, got it going, others believe that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first sparked the concept.
Oregon was the first state to observe Labor Day
Prior to becoming an official holiday across the country, Labor Day was adopted state by state. Oregon was the first to make it a statewide holiday, a full seven years before it was passed by Congress.
President Grover Cleveland made it a federal holiday
On June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day official by signing it into law, designating the first Monday in September to constantly be Labor The day honors the American labor force and the upholding of laws that make work conditions better and more secure.
Coco Chanel broke the “no white after Labor Day” rule
In the late nineteenth century, the upper crust of society made this unofficial rule. “It [was] insiders trying to keep other people out and outsiders trying to climb in by proving they know the rules,” Valerie Steele, director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, told Time.
Labor Day continues to celebrate millions in the workforce
As the United States Census Bureau reports, starting around 2017, Labor Day honours 159.8 million people, all 16 and over, in the nation’s labor force.