September is practically just around the corner, and one of the last long weekends of the year is approaching. Therefore, summer is almost ending with a flourish and welcoming the last quarter of 2021.
People in the United States celebrate Labor Day on Monday, September 6. It is a date that serves to remember all the social and economic achievements of the country’s working class. There is no specific day to celebrate Labor Day. Still, its festivity is usually on the first Monday of every September. According to a posting on the official website of the U.S.
Department of Labor, it is a day when “workers are honored for their contribution to the prosperity and well-being of the country.” Below, we will take a look at what Labor Day is all about.
What is Labor Day? And What Does This Day Means?
What is Labor Day? Every year the United States comes to a standstill to give way to one of many Americans’ favorite celebrations: Labor Day. Labor Day is an annual celebration that aims to celebrate the achievements of workers. Moreover, it aims to raise awareness of the importance of work for each person, regardless of its developed field.
Each sector of society plays a crucial role in developing an entire country.
It originated in trade union movements, specifically those in which eight-hour shifts were promoted. Same as intended to establish a healthy pattern of life among the workers.
It consists of an equitable distribution of the different activities to which the human being is dedicated, necessary to lead a balanced life in all senses—for instance, eight hours of work, eight hours of leisure, and eight hours of rest.
The first official recognition by the government was through the municipal ordinances of 1885. Little by little, the legislation to make this date a memorial day of work was gaining followers among the states of the territory.
By 1894 there were already 33 states that had signed this legislation. On June 28, 1894, it was the first Monday of each September as the official labor day in all United States territories.
The first Labor Day was on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. We must recognize the great effort made by the Trade Union Center to promote the celebration of this holiday. It promotes the celebration among workers in their work centers and propagates the tradition of praising the work done by workers across the nation.
Of course, labor Day’s intentions were perhaps not precisely laudable at the time. At least in the social sense of celebrating the country’s labor community. Correspondingly, the United States was going through a period where its economic production had expanded beyond agricultural fields and factories.
It was a priority that this community with purchasing power, the so-called workers, could take the time to learn about the supply in the market. In other words, consume that production.
When is Labor Day?
Amid the pandemic, the United States lives its holidays with some restrictions. This Monday will be no exception. With this in mind, to commemorate the labor movement, Labor Day will be celebrated this September 6.
In North America, they remember the parade held in New York on September 5, 1882. Unlike other parts of the world, this parade was organized by the Noble Order of the Knights of Labor, inspired by the movement in Canada.
In the United States, Labor Day is the first Monday of September, after President Grover Cleveland chose to change the date to avoid disorder and a socialist celebration. As a result, together with the Knights of Labor, he chose to put it on another date.
The Behind History of Labor Day
International Labor Day is celebrated on May 1 in most parts of the world. It is commemorating the start of an American workers’ strike in 1886. However, since 1882, the United States and Canada have been celebrating Labor Day every September. Why?
Labor Day in the United States precedes the events that marked a strike in Chicago, Illinois, in 1886—giving rise to the commemoration of International Labor Day.
During the beginning of the industrial revolution, workers sought to establish an eight-hour workday. U.S. President Andrew Johnson established the day as a law in 1868. However, not all states adopted the new measure, so the struggle of the labor movement continued.
Thanks to the railroad development, Chicago, Illinois, became an essential bastion of U.S. industrial development. As a result, a large number of migrants arrived in the city in search of employment.
Despite the boom, workers demanded that employers introduce the 8-hour workday, so thousands of workers took to the streets and went on strike on May 1, 1886. OF course, the police backed the employers and contained the strike. In other words, they shot the protesters.
Two days later, the workers, called “socialist revolutionaries,” held a new demonstration during the night in Haymarket Square. After that, the city attacked with bombs, killing several police officers who encapsulated the protesters.
The workers were persecuted, condemned and several were executed for their crimes through a shootout. As a result, the labor movement starts claiming the executed workers as the “Martyrs of Chicago,” giving rise to the tribute that most countries celebrate as International Labor Day.
The origin of this national holiday is not clear. The debate is between two main actors: Peter J. Mc Guire, co-founder of the American Federation of Laborers, and Matthew Maguire, a machinist initially from Paterson, New Jersey.
To this day, it is debated why the Central Labor Union accepted the proposal of this holiday, September 5, 1882. It organized a picnic in New York City and unofficially declared this day to celebrate the workers.
The first Monday of September that was select was in 1884. Little by little, more and more American states adopted this date and the reasons for its celebration, until there were more than 30 in 1894.
Why Is Labor Day on a Monday?
As workers became more organized into unions, they protested poor and unsafe working conditions and pressed for more employers’ benefits. The movement to recognize workers with holidays began in state governments, which passed laws to honor typical workers.
The U.S. Congress created the federal holiday on June 28, 1894, designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day. Every year after that, the same tradition continued. Mondays were chosen for different reasons. For instance, workers would not have a holiday to avoid the holiday falling on a weekend day.
The other is because it is the first day of the week. Therefore, it would be a long weekend. Workers take advantage of the end of summer to make their last trips or vacation days on this date.
Why Do People Celebrate Labor Day?
Labor Day is a holiday that people celebrate in honor of all workers. It recognizes the work of workers and the movements that defend workers. These movements arose to defend workers from long hours and poor conditions. In addition, they also demand that workers have fair wages according to their jobs.
As mentioned above, this day is usually celebrated on May 1, around the world. In the United States and Canada, the first Monday of September is when people recognize all workers. Undoubtedly it is a special day for all the inhabitants of the United States since without the workers’ nothing would be possible.
How to Celebrate Labor Day Now?
The American people usually celebrate this day with their families or friends. It is the last holiday of the summer. Therefore, this long weekend is usually used to take a trip or just relax with the family. In addition, in some states, there are parades or community picnics where people share and have fun.
Intended to fall on the sixth day of each month, this date is celebrated on the first Monday of September each year. Its purpose is to recognize workers throughout the country. Moreover, to appreciate all the effort made by millions of people, without being a commercial event, many companies offer various discounts to buy the items they most want and need during this time.
The Bottom Line
Labor Day is a national holiday in honor of labor. People celebrate it in the United States and Canada on the first Monday in September. In 1894, the U.S. Congress, after workers ask for this day for more than twelve years.
Today, without the political connotations of its origins and coinciding with the end of summer and the beginning of the school year, people make parades, rallies, and picnics. It is a day to enjoy and celebrate the possibility of working every day, both men and women. It is a day to honor those who fought for human rights and remember their courage.