What is Labor Day?

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What is Labor Day?

Labor Day is an official US holiday celebrated annually on the first Monday of September. Labor Day serves to honor workers and laborers that contribute to the country’s growth and prosperity. For many people, the celebration of Labor Day makes that long weekend the last opportunity to enjoy an outdoor outing before the colder season sets in.

There is much debate on who actually founded, or made the first proposal to have a day honoring laborers. Some believe that it was the co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, Peter J. McGuire who first proposed the idea while he was general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. Many also believe that it was a different person, machinist Matthew Maguire, who proposed in 1882 that a holiday dedicated to workers while seated as a secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

It was ultimately the Central Labor Union that gave the green light to hold a holiday dedicated to workers, by planning a demonstration and a picnic. The first Labor Day celebration on September 5, 1882 was held on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. It was on its third year that it was celebrated on a Monday as it has been held since. Eventually, many other labor unions across the country adopted the practice. It was into until 1894 that the congress passed an act that was to make the first Monday of September officially a holiday, Labor Day.

It is not only the US that celebrates Labor Day. Other countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand and former American Colony the Philippines also celebrate observe this holiday.

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