Labor Day 1956 stamp via Wikicommons Media Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Designed by Victor S. McCloskey, Jr., using as source material a photograph of a portion of the mural by Lumen M. Winter located in the AFL-CIO building in Washington, DC. - U.S. Postal Service; National Postal Museum:
holidays

5 Fun Labor Day Facts

It’s Labor Day in the USA and many folks, including us, are enjoying a day off from school and work. Here are 5 fun Labor Day facts that I found interesting and I’m sure you will too!

After all, who doesn’t love a little drama and glass-ceiling breaking with their history?

On second thought, I think we could all use a break from any drama. How about we all try to get along? Folks 100 years from now will thank us.

Here are the Labor Day facts I found interesting.


Fun Labor Day Facts: The Founder of Labor Day Is In Dispute

Two men, Peter J. McGuire and Matthew Maguire, both have a decent claim to being the founder of Labor Day by suggesting it in 1882. Will this matter ever be settled? Probably not unless better records are unearthed.

Fun Labor Day Facts: The First Labor Day Holiday

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. It was organized by the Central Labor Union and both founders of the holiday, McGuire and Maguire, attended the celebration.

first labor day parade via the u.s. department of labor 5 fun labor day facts

(image: via U.S. Department of Labor)

Fun Labor Day Facts: The First State Law Recognizing Labor Day

While Labor Day had been celebrated and acknowledged in many areas since that first holiday in New York City in 1882, Oregon was the first state to pass a state law recognizing Labor Day as a holiday on February 21, 1887.

New York was the first state to introduce a bill recognizing Labor Day, but Oregon beat them to the punch with the passing of its law in February. Go ahead and gloat all you Oregonians!

New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey all ended up passing state laws recognizing Labor Day as a state holiday later on in 1887.

Fun Labor Day Facts: Labor Day Becomes a Federal Holiday

Labor Day was not a state holiday everywhere by the end of the 19th century, but it had traction. 24 of the then 44 states had passed a state law codifying the holiday.

Labor Day became federal law on June 28, 1894, when President Grover Cleveland signed a law establishing the first Monday in September of each year as a national holiday.

Fun Labor Day Facts: Labor Day Came Before the Labor Department

Right before he left office, President William Howard Taft created the U.S. Department of Labor on March 4, 1913, nineteen years after Labor Day became a national holiday.

The Labor Department was the first Cabinet agency led by a woman. Frances Perkins led the Labor Department from March 4, 1933, to June 30, 1945. Among other accomplishments, Perkins was the principal architect of the Social Security Act.


These 5 Fun Labor Day Facts are courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor. They actually have a pretty interesting blog. Go figure.

A handful of facts about Labor Day do not even scratch the surface of all the work and advocacy that has gone into and still goes into protecting workers, but it is a place to start.

Here are resources to learn more about the history of Labor Day:

U.S. Department of Labor
History.com
Library of Congress
New York Times

Happy Labor Day!


If you are in the U.S., do you have Labor Day plans? I’d love to hear about it. You can always comment on this blog post (I have to approve it first before it appears), email me here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.


P.S. (image credit for the Labor Day postage stamp: Wikicommons Media Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Designed by Victor S. McCloskey, Jr., using as source material a photograph of a portion of the mural by Lumen M. Winter located in the AFL-CIO building in Washington, DC.U.S. Postal Service; National Postal Museum)


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