So, What’s The Story Behind “Labor Day”?


Labor Day, as most of you know, happens in the U.S on the first Monday of every September. This year, it lands on September 5th. It was created by the labor movement and is dedicated to the economic and social achievements of American workers. It also embodies a yearly national tribute to the contributions of the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country’s workers.

When Did Labor Day Start?

The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first state for it to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During this year more and more states created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment (creation of law). Finally, on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.


First Labor Day Parade in Oregon, 1887.

Who Founded Labor Day?

Its been more than 100 years since the first Labor Day observance and there is still some controversy  as to who first proposed the holiday. Some people believe Peter J. McGuire (general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor) is the founding father of the holiday, others believe it is Matthew Maguire (secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J). Whats the difference you may ask? McGuire mentioned the idea of dedicating a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold”. Then, Peter J. McGuire came in the picture and physically proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.



What we know is that it was first proposed at the Central Labor Union in New York, good news is that you are free to make your own opinion as to who founded the holiday 😉

Here we have a poll published on the U.S Department of Labor website (I voted McGuire).

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Hopefully you learned something new today. I’d have to say “cheers” to New York first. It was where our precious holiday was born, so they definitely deserve a shout out. Now excuse me as I enjoy my long weekend. Happy Labor Day weekend!



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