Labor Day

Date: All day Mon, Sep 4, 2023

Category: Holidays and Observances

With origins in the labor movement, Labor Day is a day to celebrate American workers. 

History of Labor Day

Labor Day has deep roots in the 130 years of the labor movement and its efforts to improve working conditions in America. It is also known as International Workers’ Day or May Day and is celebrated on May 1 internationally.

With the growth of the Industrial Revolution came the demand for labor and trade unions. Around the 1850s, eight-hour movements across the world aimed to reduce the working day from ten to eight hours. At its first congress in 1886, the American Federation of Labour called for a general strike in Chicago on May 1 to demand an eight-hour day, which culminated in what is known today as the Haymarket affair.

When Was the First Labor Day?

The first Labor Day celebration was the Labor Day parade in New York City on September 5, 1882. Its origins stem from the Central Labor Union’s and other labor organizations’ desire to create a holiday for workers. Oregon was the first state to pass it as a legal holiday in 1887, and by the end of the same year, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York had passed laws creating a Labor Day holiday. President Grover Cleveland made it a federal holiday in 1894.

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