5 Facts About Labor Day

As you get ready for a Labor Day weekend full of barbeques and pool parties, here are five facts about the unofficial last day of summer. (Ugh. Typing that made us sad.)

  1. The first celebrated U.S. Labor Day was on Tuesday September 5, 1882 in NYC. It was planned by the Central Labor Union.
    • 10,000 workers took unpaid leave and marched from City Hall to 42nd street – ending in Wendel’s Elm Park for a concert, picnic, and speeches.
    • Labor Day originated in Toronto, Canada in 1872. It began as a demonstration demanding rights for workers.
  2. Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in 1887.
  3. Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the U.S.
    • Labor Day recognizes the contributions/achievement of the millions of men and women in the U.S. workforce.
  4. Americans worked 12-hour days and 7-day weeks (yikes!) in the late 1800s. Kids as young as 5-6 years old worked in factories.
  5. In 1916 the Adamson Act was passed, which firmly established the 8-hour workday. This was the first federal law regulating hours of workers in private companies.

Get the background on labor rights. GO

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