What and When is Labor Day?
Labor Day is a day of celebration to pay tribute to the working people. Labor Day is celebrated as a national federal holiday in United States and Canada. Many people often wonder when is Labor Day. The holiday is celebrated on the first Monday in September. The holiday started off in 1882 when the Central labor Union desired and created a day off for working people. Till today this day is celebrated as a day of rest.
The History Of Labor Day
There is a debate regarding who first proposed the holiday for working population. From some records we get the name of Peter J. McGuire who was the General Secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and who co-founded the American Federation of Labor as the first proponent of Labor Day. He suggested having a day to honor those who “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”
But the other views say that a machinist, Mathew Maguire founded the Labor Day. He later became the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, New Jersey. He proposed a holiday for the working class in 1882 when he was working as a secretary of the Central Labor Union.
The first Labor Day was celebrated in accord with the plans of Central Labor Union in 1882 on Tuesday and the date was 5th September. However, May 1st was designated as Labor Day throughout the world in later years.
Labor day gradually became popular and the government first recognized it through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. Now, Labor Day geared up for state legislation. Oregon was the first state to pass the law on February 21, 1887. In 1887 Labor Day law was passed by New Jersey, New York, Colorado and Massachusetts. Gradually more states passed legislation on Labor Day holiday. In 1894, Congress passed an act and made the first Monday of September each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories. The Bill became a law as President Grover Cleveland signed it on June 28th.
How Labor Day Is Celebrated?
When the first Labor Day was observed, the outlined activities first included a street parade to demonstrate “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” of the working community. Then a festival was held so the workers and their families could spend the holiday amusingly. Gradually the economic and civic aspects got more emphasis and speeches by famous men and women were included as a part of Labor Day celebrations. In 1909, American Federation of Labor convention took up a resolution which dedicated the preceding Sunday of the Labor Day Monday to the spiritual and educational facets of the labor movement.
When is Labor Day celebrated the way it was intended? Today, most of people find Labor Day to be the end of summer and a day to take rest. Nowadays in Labor Day, political exhibits are rare and the day is celebrated with picnics, barbecues, water sports, public art events and firework show offs.