DID YOU KNOW . . . Labor Day

Today is the observance of Labor Day is the United States, a federal holiday that occurs on the first Monday in September and which celebrates the building of a nation upon the prospect of achievement and the contributions of the efforts of so many to create an engine of prosperity that has been enjoyed by so many.

The first big Labor Day in the United States was observed on September 5, 1882, by the Central Labor Union of New York. It was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labor festival held in Toronto, Canada. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.

Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland reconciled with the labor movement. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike. The September date was chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation’s trade unions.

All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.

Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In many social circles, Labor Day is often considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear white.

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