Every year students across the country look forward to the first Monday of September and celebrate their day off from school, but very few of them understand the significance as to why the 3 day weekend occurs in the first place.
The first Monday of September is known as Labor Day and celebrates the creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.
Labor Day is a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of America.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5 in 1882, in New York City, by the Central Labor Union and the second was held on the same date in 1883 with the first Monday in September tradition being adopted in 1884.
Originally Labor Day was celebrated exclusively in New York City, however with the growth of labor organizations the idea of recognizing the “working men” spread, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in several industrial centers of the country.
The first governmental recognition passed during 1885 and 1886 and the movement developed and became secure in state legislation.
Although the first Labor Day was celebrated in New York, it was in Oregon where the observance of Labor Day became law on Feb. 21, 1887, however New York introduced their bill into state legislature first.
After Oregon created the law four more states created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment including, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York and by the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska and Pennsylvania had followed in their footsteps.
On June 28, 1894 Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the states.
Next time there is a 3 day weekend, whether it be for Labor Day or Veteran’s Day, think about the significance of the day and take some time to appreciate the men and women in history that made a difference for this country.