History

Celebrate Labor Day’s Rich History…and Take the Day Off!

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In the United States, Labor Day is observed on every first Monday in September as a day to recognize and celebrate the contributions of American workers of all industries to the U.S. economy. Essentially, it is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. The day is specifically set aside to give workers a well-earned day off to relax at home or to get out for recreation.

 

Labor Day typically marks the end of the summer season, as Memorial Day marks its beginning. Many people across the U.S. see Labor Day as their last chance to get out and take a vacation before summer is gone, and many workers get a two-week annual vacation period with Labor Day Weekend right in the middle of the two weeks off.

In addition, most U.S. schools restart classes after summer break about a week before Labor Day. However, some schools resume classes on the day after Labor Day, thus allowing families to get in their last taste of summer before the school year gets underway.

History

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The first U.S. Labor Day celebrations took place in New York City in 1882 at the behest of local labor unions, who wanted to put the fruits of their industries on public display. In 1887, Oregon instituted a state-level Labor Day holiday. During the year, four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

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