All US citizens devote the first Monday in September to recognizing the achievements and contribution of the country’s workers. The holiday was established during the 19th century American Labor Movement and became official in 1894. Many Americans also associate Labor Day with the end of summer and organize parties to say goodbye to the hottest season of the year.


Labor Day history

Unfortunately, the Labor Day originated during one of the darkest periods in American history. In the late 1800s, the Industrial Revolution created unfavorable working conditions. For instance, an average US citizen worked 12 hours each day without days off to provide a decent living for his/her family. Moreover, child labor was widely used in American factories and mines. These circumstances led to many riots, during which several workers and police officers were injured and killed. However, these riots led to well-established traditions. Thus, on September 5, in the year of 1882, about 10 000 workers marched from New York City Hall to Union Square. This was the first Labor Day parade in US history.

Many industrial centers in the USA supported the idea of “workingmen’s holiday”; however, the Congress recognized the holiday only after 12 years had passed. On May 11, 1894, the workers of Pullman Company in Chicago protested against unlawful dismissals and wage cut. There were also other riots in Chicago that ended up in the deaths of many workers. After these unfavorable events, the Congress recognized the summer celebration of Labor Day as a nationwide holiday.

Although we celebrate Labor Day for more than a century, its genuine founder is not yet identified. Many researchers consider Peter J. McGuire, one of the leaders of the American Federation of Labor, to be the initiator of this holiday. Some scholars name Matthew Maguire, the ex-secretary of the Central Labor Union.

Indeed, Labor Day is the favorite summer celebration of many Americans. They organize picnics and barbeques, take part in parades and mark the end of the holiday with bright fireworks. If you also enjoy the holiday, it is your chance to share its history with your friends and relatives.