As we inch closer and closer to everyone’s favorite Monday in September– Labor Day, it’s time to ask, what is Labor Day anyway?
I’m glad you asked.
Labor Day celebrates and honors the greatest worker in the world– the American worker. The holiday is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of the American worker and is a “yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
According to the US Department of Labor, there is some doubt as to who actually came up with the idea of Labor Day, but it’s noted that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was the man who brought the day into fruition for those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” Others have said that Matthew Maguire (no relation and different spelling) suggested the holiday in 1882. (The DOL has a pretty lengthy description of what the first holiday was like and let’s just say it was a real party.)
The first actual Labor Day was celebrated on, get this– Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City. By 1894 President Grover Cleveland signed Labor Day into law declaring the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday.
So, what is Labor Day? A day to honor you, the American worker.