The History of Labor Day

By September 2, 2016Student Community

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Celebrated every first Monday of September, Labor Day is known as a day to enjoy some time with friends and family and–if you’re lucky–enjoy a day off from your job. But do you know how it started or why we even celebrate the day? Check out the history below!

History of Labor Day

Labor Day dates all the way back to the 1880s when Americans were fighting for labor union rights. It was initiated and passed as an ordinance in New York, a state that celebrated in 1882 in conjunction with the Central Labor Union, complete with public speeches and a parade! Other states followed shortly thereafter, and by 1894, Congress declared the first Monday of September an official holiday.

Fun Facts About Labor Day

  • The first “Labor Day” was actually on a Tuesday!
  • The original name proposed was “Workingmen’s Holiday.”
  • There is a big debate as to who actually proposed the idea of Labor Day: Some say it was Peter McGuire, others argue it was Matthew McGuire.

How You Can Celebrate Labor Day

According to tradition, the answer to this question would be simple! Especially since the way to celebrate was actually outlined when the bill was proposed: Host local parades, gather key-note speakers and take time to pay tribute to “the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker” (Department of Labor). But since there aren’t as many activities or parades taking place anymore, here are some ideas:

  • Attend an Event Happening Near You!
    Although the tradition has faded since Labor Day started over 100 years ago, there are still a lot of fun community events happening in Idaho. You can check out this cool website with a list of all the things happening this Labor Day weekend.
  • Thank A Boss (Or Your Parent)
    If you work at a job with a boss you appreciate, let him or her know by writing a card, making a simple treat or even just expressing your gratitude this Labor Day. If you don’t work, chances are, you have a parent or guardian who works hard for you, so take some time to let them know you appreciate it.
  • Have a BBQ!
    Or just go get a burger to eat. Either way, there’s fewer things more American than enjoying some old fashioned BBQ. Just make sure you invite someone to join in the fun with you!
  • Take Some Time to Relax
    Whether it’s a few minutes to yourself, or the whole day enjoying time with friends, use Labor Day to rest from, well, labor!

This Labor Day, we hope you get to enjoy some fun and take some time to appreciate those who work hard–whether it’s your sibling, parents, teachers or friends–to help you succeed.

*Facts and trivia about Labor Day were gathered from the United States Department of Labor website.

  • What are you doing this Labor Day weekend? Share with us in the comments below!

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