Do you know the history of Labor Day in the United States?
We all know about Labor Day. After all, who wouldn’t want to be informed about an extra day off work? Just because we know that the day is a rest from our labor doesn’t mean we know the true history behind Labor Day. Here’s a quick overview of why we celebrate Labor Day.
Labor Day got its start in the late 1800’s, when union leaders in New York City decided that they wanted to host a massive festival for workers across the city. Because Labor Day was not yet a national holiday, in order to attend those laborers would have to give up a day’s wages. Early in the first Labor Day celebration—which was held on September 5th, 1882—few people turned out. Over the course of the day, more and more people joined the festivities and by the day’s end the rally boasted 10,000 people!
News of this celebration of hard-working Americans and all our labor force has contributed to the nation spread, and in 1887 Oregon became the first state to declare Labor Day an official holiday. It took just under a decade for the festivities to gain traction across the country, and in 1896 President Grover Cleveland declared the first Monday in September as an official national holiday to celebrate American laborers.
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