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September 5 – Labor Day

September 5, est. 1882

Do you ever wonder exactly why we celebrate Labor Day in America? Let us give you a little history behind the holiday.

Labor Day in the United States is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September in honor of the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and wellbeing of the country. Labor Day is celebrated the first Monday in September and Labor Day Weekend is considered the unofficial end of summer in the United States.

Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements were picking up steam, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor. “Labor Day” was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, which organized the first parade in New York City. In 1887, Oregon was the first state to make it an official public holiday. Thirty states in the United States had already officially celebrated Labor Day by the time it was made a federal holiday in 1894.

According to one early history of Labor Day, the event originated in connection with a General Assembly of the Knights of Labor convened in New York City in September 1882. In connection with this clandestine Knights assembly, a public parade of various labor organizations was held on September 5 under the auspices of the Central Labor Union of New York. Secretary of the CLU Matthew Maguire is credited for first proposing a national Labor Day holiday subsequently be held on the first Monday of September in the aftermath of this successful public demonstration.