The first Monday of September marks the day that Americans celebrate Labor Day. While this may be a joyous day to go to a barbecue or hang with friends, the holiday isn’t just about having a day off. Here’s 5 facts about the holiday to feast your eyes upon!
Sure, we all know Labor Day is a much-needed day off from our busy schedules, but it is SO much more than that. In fact, there is a huge history lesson behind the origins of the holiday. So put down those barbecue plates and your beach towels and check out everything you need to know!
1. Labor Day honors the American Labor Movement of the 19th Century.
Believe it or not, but Americans used to work 12-hours, seven days a week in the 19th century. Talk about tiring! And it wasn’t only the adults who had to work; children as young as five were sent of into the work force too! These excruciating hours propelled the American Labor Movement into action, which fought for better treatment in the work force. Labor Day as we know it, honors those workers who were apart of the movement for their contributions to the work force that is one the driving forces in the U.S.
2. The first American Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882.
The first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882 in New York City. The celebration, which was planned by the Central Labor Union, included a parade of about 10,000 workers who took unpaid leave to march from City Hall to Times Square, ending the march in Wendel’s Elm Park for a concert, speeches, and a picnic. SO cool! Now, Labor Day occurs every first Monday of September.
3. Oregon was the first state to recognize it as a public holiday.
While the celebration and movement may have originated in New York, Oregon was actually the first state to recognize it as an official holiday in 1887. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty U.S. states began celebrating Labor Day.
4. Labor Day was first proposed as an early May holiday.
OMG! Labor Day was so close to becoming a holiday in the spring! Luckily, President Grover Cleveland pushed to have it moved to fall in September. The last minute change was made due to a violent labor movement that had happened in May 1886. President Cleveland was concerned that having Labor Day in May would encourage violence and protests in commemoration. The decision to push the date to September was approved later in 1894.
5. There’s a reason behind the expression “no white after Labor Day.”
The expression “no white after Labor Day” isn’t just one of fashion’s biggest commandments! The term actually refers to when the upper class would return from their summer vacays and stow away their lightweight, white summer clothes before returning to work and school. Who knew?!
HollywoodLifers, were there some things that you learned about Labor Day? Let us know in the comments below!