The History of Labor Day
Labor Day started at the state level. New York was the first state to introduce Labor Day legislation. In 1887 Oregon became the first state to pass it. By 1894, almost 30 states followed suit. But it took a tragedy to make it an officially recognized federal holiday.
Since then, all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories have made Labor Day a statutory holiday. Holiday creators envisioned a day of street parades by workers to “exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” to be followed by a celebration held for workers and their families. In years to follow Labor Day would grow to include speeches by public officials.
Enjoy your hard-earned day off this Labor Day, Mon., Sept. 4, and celebrate the power of solidarity with workers everywhere.
Photos from Reuther Library Archives