Labor Day Celebrated Since 1882


Rachel Haywood
Managing Editor

Memorial Day commemorates the fallen soldiers and servicemen of war, the Fourth of July celebrates the U.S. becoming independent, and many wonder about the celebration of Labor Day.

The Industrial Revolution climbed to its height in the late 1800’s. Americans were working 12 hour days for minimum pay in horrible conditions. Many times, children of five and six years old were working beside their parents in the factories and mines. New immigrant workers were also put at risk because they were not accustomed to the unsanitary environment. This unfair situation made the workers very angry.

Labor Unions, groups of American workers, rose up to protest the work force. On September 5, 1882, 10,000 New Yorkers took time off of work to march in the streets. This event became known as the first Labor Day parade in US history.

Although many states passed a legislation recognizing Labor Day as a holiday, it was not until 1894 that Congress legalized it, after workers went on strike and caused the government to step in. Chicago troops started riots, killing many American workers. To mend the bond between the people and the government, Congress passed an act that made Labor Day an official American holiday.

Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday in September. People take time off of work to have cook outs and parties. We are remembering the workforce that has shaped this great nation. For many students across the nation, the Labor Day weekend is also the end of their summer.

Whatever the reason may be for your celebration this weekend, remember that this great country would not be what it is today without the struggles and hardships we faced in the 1800’s. The past shaped the present, and the present shapes the future.


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