Labor Day is celebrated the first Monday in September in the United States. It is a formation of the labor movement and is committed to the financial and social accomplishments of the American workforce. It represents an annual national accolade to the contributions people have given to the affluence, strength, and welfare of our country.
Labor Day’s Founder
After more than 100 years after the first Labor Day celebration, there is even now some uncertainty as to who was the first to suggest the holiday for people in the workplace.
Several accounts explain that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was the initial person in proposing a day to pay tribute to those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”
The fact of Peter McGuire being the founder of Labor Day has not gone uncontested. Numerous people think that Matthew Maguire, a machine operator, not Peter McGuire, created the holiday. The latest study appears to maintain the debate that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, New Jersey, suggested the holiday in 1882 while functioning as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. It is obvious that the Central Labor Union approved a Labor Day suggestion and selected a team to design a picnic and exhibition.
The Initial Labor Day
The original Labor Day celebration was held on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in agreement with the policies of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union had its next Labor Day celebration a year later, on September 5, 1883.
The first Monday in September was chosen in 1884 as the holiday, as initially suggested, and the Central Labor Union pushed for comparable associations in other cities to go along with the model of New York and commemorate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that day. The proposal broadened with the increase of labor groups, and in 1885 Labor Day was observed in many manufacturing places in America.
The Legislation of Labor Day
Over the years, the country gave growing importance to Labor Day. The first legislative acknowledgment came from municipal decrees passed during 1885 and 1886. From those decrees grew the advance to secure state legislation. The first state bill was presented into the New York legislature, but the first to develop into law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. New Jersey, Colorado, New York and Massachusetts originated the Labor Day holiday by legislative ratification during that year. Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Nebraska followed the lead by the end of the decade. By 1894, 23 more states had approved the holiday in honor of people in the workplace and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act creating the first Monday in September of every year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
These days, street parades and picnics celebrate Labor Day. Some of the time there are speeches by important men and women. Each year on the first Monday in September, we honor the American worker.
This legal notice expires, and will be moved to the archive, on Monday September 30th, 2019.