EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Labor Day is the celebration of American workers and their contributions to this country. It also marks the unofficial end of summer each year.
The holiday is celebrated on the first Monday in September.
“The holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America’s strength, prosperity, and well-being,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Here are some facts about Labor Day, courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor:
- Labor Day was first celebrated on Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City.
- Oregon was the first state to pass a law recognizing Labor Day in February 1887.
- In 1894, Congress passed an act establishing Labor Day as a federal holiday. In the early days of the holiday, it was only federal workers who were guaranteed the day off.
“American labor has raised the nation’s standard of living and contributed to the greatest production the world has ever known and the labor movement has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker,” according to the U.S. Labor Department.
After more than a century, however, the true founder of Labor Day is still up for debate.
“Many credit Peter J. McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, while others have suggested that Matthew Maguire, a secretary of the Central Labor Union, first proposed the holiday,” according to History.com, the History Channel’s website.
New York City still hosts a Labor Day parade and march. This year the parade will be held on Saturday, Sept. 9, according to the AFL-CIO New York City Central Labor Council.