Monday, September 4th is Labor Day in the U.S. The holiday will be celebrated by U.S. families around the country with picnics, barbecues, road trips, and sports events. Labor Day unofficially signals the end of the summer vacation streak for many and is an observed federal holiday for most businesses but do you know why? Here are 5 fascinating facts about Labor Day.
1.) Labor Day has a rich history centered around workers and celebrates the contributions and achievements of the 155 million men and women who are in the U.S. workforce. Originally it began in 1872 in Toronto, Canada but quickly made its way south to the U.S.
2.) The first U.S. Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, planned by the Central Labor Union. The Labor Day parade of about 10,000 workers took unpaid leave and marched from City Hall past Union Square uptown to 42nd street, and ended in Wendel’s Elm Park at 92nd Street and 9th Avenue for a concert, speeches, and a picnic.
3.) In the late 1800s the average American worked twelve hour days and seven-day weeks to eke out a basic living. Children as young as five years old worked in factories and mines.
4.) Traditionally people did not wear white or seersucker clothes after Labor Day as it unofficially marked the end of summer.
5.) Labor Day, celebrated in some countries as May Day or International Workers Day, started in Chicago as a protest campaign in support of the eight-hour workday. The year in which the eight-hour day was firmly established was 1916 with the passage of the Adamson Act. This was the first federal law regulating hours of workers in private companies.