Labor Day Facts

Labor Day Facts
In the United States Labor Day is celebrated annually on the first Monday in September as a holiday for the labor movement in America. It is dedicated to the economic and social achievements of employees in the United States. The first Labor Day Parade was held in New York in Union Square in 1882. The parade was organized by the Knights of Labor and the Central Union Labor. Oregon made Labor Day a legal holiday in 1887, becoming the first state to do so. In 1894 Labor Day was established as an official national holiday, by President Grover Cleveland and the U.S. Congress.
Interesting Labor Day Facts:
The idea of creating a Labor Day holiday was proposed by either Matthew Maguire or Peter McGuire. Matthew Maguire was with the International Association of Machinists and Peter McGuire was with the Brotherhood of Carpenters. It has not been established who was actually the first to propose the holiday in the United States.
Peter McGuire had witnessed an annual labor festival in Canada prior to suggesting a similar holiday in the United States. Labour Day in Canada originated in 1872 in Toronto, Ontario.
The first Labor Day parade in the United States was held on September 5th, 1882, with approximately 10,000 NY workers participating. The participants were on unpaid leave.
The Labor Day parade began at City Hall, past Union Square and then up town to 42nd Street. It ended at 92nd Street and 9th Avenue at Wendel's Elm Park. At the park there was a picnic, speeches and a concert.
In the late 1800s, when Labor Day became a holiday in the United States, most American workers put in 12 hour, seven day work weeks. It was the height of the Industrial Revolution in the U.S. and workers had to work that much in order to make a living.
At the time, although some states imposed restrictions on the age of workers, in some other states there were children as young as 5 or 6 years old working in mines, factories, and mills.
Children, the elderly, the poor, and recent immigrants often worked in unsafe conditions and at poor pay.
In 1916 the 8 hour work day was established by the Adamson Act, making it the first federal law regulating work hours in private companies.
There used to be a tradition of not wearing seersucker or white clothing after Labor Day.
Although Labor Day is meant to pay tribute to American workers, many also use the day to celebrate the end of summer.
Common Labor Day festivities include athletic events, parades and parties, as well as barbecues, trips, and fireworks.
Today Labor Day often signals the beginning of the football season. It is also usually the last day before school starts.
Many retailers and business have used Labor Day as a retail sale day because of the large number of people who are not at work and are free to shop. The day has become so popular for shoppers that it the second largest 'sale' day in the United States. The first is Black Friday.

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