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  1. The first celebrated US Labor Day was on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City, planned by the Central Labor Union.
  2. 10,000 workers marched from City Hall all the way to 42nd Street and then met with their families in Wendel’s Elm Park for a picnic, concert, and speeches.
  3. Canada is said to have originated the idea of hosting a day honoring the labor movement. In 1872, they held a “Nine-Hour Movement” to show support for striking workers.
  4. There is disagreement about who actually proposed Labor Day as a holiday. Some say it was Peter J. McGuire, who was the cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. Others believe that it was Matthew Maguire, a machinist.
  5. Oregon was the first state to celebrate Labor Day as a legal holiday in 1887.

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  1. The decision to make Labor Day the first Monday of September was approved on June 28, 1894.
  2. Labor Day started as a part of the labor union movement, to recognize the contributions of men and women in the US workforce, but modernly is seen as a chance to celebrate the last weekend of summer.
  3. Americans worked 12-hour days seven days a week during the 19th century!
  4. The Adamson Act was passed on September 3, 1916 to establish an eight-hour work day.
  5. Historians say the expression “no white after Labor Day” comes from when the upper class would return from their summer vacations and stow away their lightweight, white summer clothes as they returned back to school and work.
  6. There is still a Labor Day parade in New York City, which takes place throughout the 20 blocks north of the 1882 labor march.

Sources

  • 1

    United States Department of Labor. “Labor Day History.” 2014. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 2

    The Library of Congress American Memory. “The First Labor Day.” January 20, 2011. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 3

    Phillips, Pattie. “Highlights in Canadian labour history.” CBC News, September 4, 2009. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 4

    United States Department of Labor. “Labor Day History.” 2014. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 5

    CNN. “Labor Day Fast Facts.” September 1, 2014. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 6

    Harbster, Jennifer. “The First Monday of September.” The Library of Congress, September 4, 2010. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 7

    PBS NewsHour. “The Origins of Labor Day.” September 2, 2001. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 8

    PBS American Experience. “The Steel Business: The Lot of a Steel Worker.” 2009. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 9

    Newspaper & Current Periodical Reading Room. “Topics in Chronicling America - Eight Hour Day (1916).” The Library of Congress, November 13, 2012. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 10

    Berry, Allison. “The Rule ‘No White After Labor Day’ Has Historical Roots.” TIME, September 5, 2011. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

  • 11

    New York City Central Labor Council. “2014 NYC Labor Day Parade.” 2014. Web Accessed November 4, 2014.

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