Robert Dilenschneider
Robert Dilenschneider

“Nothing ever comes to one that is worth having except as a result of hard work.”Booker T. Washington

On September 2nd we celebrate Labor Day and honor millions of hardworking Americans across the country. It’s a day on which the U.S. Department of Labor pays tribute to the “greatest worker in the world”—a well-deserved tribute because our nation’s laboring men and women are indeed the most sophisticated and productive of any on the globe.

Although no one is certain who first proposed the national holiday, it has come to be known as the unofficial end of summer and back-to-school shopping.

The first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882, in New York City. In 1884 the first Monday in September was chosen to mark the holiday, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in others cities to follow its example. The idea caught on and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.

Those celebrations inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a “workingmen’s holiday” on one day or another. In June of that year, President Grover Cleveland signed legislation designating the first Monday in September as Labor Day.

In the 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States the average American worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 worked in mills and factories all facing unsafe working conditions. Many protests turned violent, including the infamous Haymarket Riot of 1886. The Adamson Act was passed on September 3, 1916, establishing an eight-hour work day.

According to recently adjusted figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average monthly job growth rate under President Trump has been 177,000.

Did you know?

  • The average American’s commute to work takes 25.8 minutes
  • Canada will also celebrate its Labour Day on September 2nd
  • Historians say the old rule about wearing “no white after Labor Day” came about because when wealthy families returned from their summer vacations they would stow away their lightweight, white summer clothes as they returned to school and work
  • Labor Day is the unofficial end of hot dog season
  • Football season typically starts on or around Labor Day
  • Labor Day is one of the biggest U.S. sales weekends

There is still a Labor Day parade in New York City, which takes place on Fifth Avenue starting at 44th Street, 20 blocks north of the 1882 labor march starting point.

Enjoy Labor Day and get ready for the fall.