September 2, 2022  |   3 min read

Happy Labor Day!

Happy Friday and wishing you a long and relaxing holiday weekend. And with it being a holiday weekend, we wanted to keep it festive by sharing interesting facts about Labor Day. Enjoy!

1. America's First Labor Day Parade

The first labor day parade was in New York City on September 5, 1882. It involved 10,000 workers who took unpaid leave and marched past City Hall and Union Square, finally reaching Elm Park for a concert, speeches, and a picnic.

2. Why the First Monday of September?

Most workers wanted an eight hour day, deciding to strike May 1, 1886.  Today it is known as the Haymarket riot.  PRO TIP: For those in Chicago, there’s a great brewpub called Haymarket, but we digress. 

This strike only increased the tension between workers and managers . Due to the labor action, several states enacted “Labor Day” in 1887 to reward workers and recognize their efforts.  The holiday was set on the first Monday in September rather than May 1st as it was considered a more neutral day. 

On June 28, 1894 Congress passed a bill to officially recognize the first Monday of September as a national holiday in all states and territories.

3. May Day?

Partially rooted in history, some traditions and cultures already observe holidays and celebrations in May.  In 1889, some European countries grouped together and recognized May 1 as International Workers Day.  Today over 160 countries celebrate this holiday on May 1.   Read more about how Labor Day is celebrated around the world here.

4. End of Summer

Labor day is commonly associated with the end of summer. Sad. We know. This unofficial end of summer is also how the “no white after labor day” rule started.  Around the turn of the century when the wealthy elites would come back from summer vacation, they would put away their summer “whites” which would get dirty in the autumn rains and winter months. This is not as common any more; many people wear white all year round.  

Labor Day (ish) also marks the start of football season, college and professional. College football normally starts the weekend before Labor Day, with the NFL starting the week after. Traditionally this takes place when people are back from their vacations and have the most availability to watch the games.

5. Why We Celeberate Now

The focus has changed slightly over the years.  We are no longer fighting for shorter work days, but rather enjoying time with friends and family.  

Here’s to the over 158 million US employed workers, keep working hard!

We hope that you are enjoying the last bits of summer and spending it with friends and family.  

Happy Labor Day, and check back next week for a fresh Friday Five.

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