Labor Day is a national holiday to honor the workers of America. It is a way of saying “thank you” to all who labor. This day is for everyone who works, whether in or outside the home, union or non-union, big company or small company, government or non-government! In fact, some call it the “workingman’s holiday.”
Labor Day is over one hundred years old. The first Labor Day was held in New York on Tuesday, September 5, 1882. Over 10,000 New York workers participated in the first Labor Day parade. Workers and their families enjoyed the day off from work. They picnicked in the park and listened to concerts and speeches.
In 1884, Labor Day was moved to the first Monday in September, when it is celebrated today. Some believe a September date was chosen in order to provide workers a break during the long stretch between the Independence Day and Thanksgiving holidays.
Labor groups throughout the U.S. lobbied for their states to recognize Labor Day as an official state holiday. The first states to declare it a state holiday in 1887 were Oregon, New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. In 1894, Congress passed a law declaring Labor Day a national holiday.
Over the years, Labor Day has evolved into an end-of-summer celebration. Summer vacationers enjoy a Labor Day weekend of fun before the cooler fall temperatures arrive. They take advantage of one last warm weekend at the lake or enjoy other outdoor activities.
Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer. Many schools begin classes after Labor Day. State parks, campgrounds, and swimming pools get ready to close, and boats are prepared for storage. People say farewell to the summer season.