Many Americans see Labor Day as just a day off work. The story of how Labor Day became a holiday and why its creation was so significant is not actually common knowledge. Labor Day is always the first Monday in September. It is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.
Labor Day is a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the growth, strength, prosperity and overall well-being of our country. It is a celebration of the men and women that are the backbone of the labor force in this country. They literally built this country with their hands, in some cases brick by brick, to create the social, economic, and actual physical structures that make our country the great nation we are all proud to call home.
Labor Day had its humble beginnings as a state bill introduced into the New York Legislature in the 1800’s. New York was however not the first state to bring legislative enactment into place for an actual government sanctioned holiday. Oregon holds the honor of enacting the holiday as an actual law on February 21st, 1887. Following Oregon’s lead, Colorado, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts had all enacted the Labor Day holiday in their states by end of that same year. Within the next 10 years Pennsylvania, Nebraska and Connecticut had all enacted the holiday as law as well. By the year 1984 a grand total of 23 additional states had enacted Labor Day as an official state holiday. On June 28th of the same year an act was passed by congress making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.
It has been more than 100 years since the first Labor Day was celebrated but interestingly enough there is still some debate about who was truly responsible for bringing the holiday into existence. Peter J. McGuire and Matthew Maguire are both generally regarded to have a direct hand in the creation of the holiday. Peter J. McGuire was the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. He was also a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. Many claim he was the first to publicly suggest a day to honor those, as he put it, "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." Many however believe that is was in fact Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, who is responsible for founding the holiday. After later becoming the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., it was McGuire who proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. The original format that Labor Day took started with a grand parade followed by rides and amusement for all the laborers and their families to enjoy. It was to be a true celebration of the hard work and effort they put into shaping America into what it had become. Much like everything else in this world Labor Day has had to evolve to keep up with the times. Labor Day parades are less common now as they can cause problems in larger cities with traffic flow, and prevent those who choose not to observe the holiday from making it to work. The Sunday before Labor Day has evolved as well and is now accepted to be Labor Sunday and is dedicated to the spiritual and education aspects of the movement.
Now that you know the history of Labor Day we hope you have that much more appreciation for the effort that went into giving the entire country the first Monday in September off work. If a day off work doesn't get you excited we don't know what would. A day when the whole nation decides to skip work and celebrate what each and every person has done to make the country they live in the amazing place it has grown to become today is truly worth taking note of. It is without a doubt one of the most important holidays of the year to acknowledge, and even more importantly, to celebrate.
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Make this Labor Day one to remember, you deserve it. Spend your day off in Luxury, spend it in a Linden Collection.