Labor Day is a nationally celebrated government holiday, but what makes the first Monday in September any different than every other work day?

 

History

Back in the 1800’s, with the boom in the Industrial Revolution,  people were leaving their farms and flocking to cities in search of work.  But many of the laws in place today, did not exist then. Workers as young as 5 or 6 years old were working 12 or more hours a day in order to earn a living wage.  With the harsh working conditions, workers were increasingly unhappy.

The very first Labor Day was celebrated very differently than today.  On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to strike in New York City.  12 years later, the government declared the first Monday in September to be a “Workingman’s Holiday.”

 

Click the image below for a brief video about Labor Day, from History.com.

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Celebrations

While Labor Day is a government holiday, to the American public, it means a day off from work to barbecue and spend time with family and friends.  And although Labor Day generally marks the end of the summer holidays, it also marks the beginning of something bigger: American football!

Additionally, Americans love their holiday sales, and Labor Day is no exception. Stores across the country have sales devoted to this holiday, so be sure to check out some of your local stores’ sales!

So on September 7 this year, while you are eating a burger by the pool, remember those workers who went on strike to get decent working conditions for Americans across the country!

Happy Labor Day!