In observance of the Labor Day holiday, our offices will be closed on Monday, September 7th. We will reopen with regular business hours, 8:30am to 5pm Mon-Fri, on Tuesday, September 8th.
To most of us, Labor Day means the unofficial end of summer, but the history of the holiday has a deeper significance. Please join us in reading and sharing the following details about how Labor Day became the national holiday it is today.
1. Labor Day originated in Canada
Labor Day was celebrated in Canada long before it was in the U.S. In 1872, 10 years before the first workers’ protests in New York, the legislature in Toronto created a national holiday to honor the contributions of the Canadian workforce. (source)
2. The first Labor Day “celebration” in the U.S. was actually a protest
Over 10,000 workers took an unpaid day off to march in New York City in 1882. The march drew attention to the long hours, low pay and poor working conditions most workers endured at the time. (source)
3. States made Labor Day a holiday before the federal government did
The movement to create a federal holiday was gaining momentum in the late 1880s, but some states didn’t wait for Washington D.C. to act. Oregon was the first state to create a paid day off for its workers on Feb. 21, 1887. Colorado, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey all followed suit within the same year. By 1894, 23 states had passed Labor Day legislation. In June of the same year, Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law creating the national holiday. (source)
We hope you enjoyed these fascinating facts about how Labor Day first came about, and we hope that you have a happy and safe holiday.
Do you have any Labor Day traditions or memories? What does the holiday mean to you? Share your stories with us in the comments below.