Labor day is almost here and we thought we would share some fun facts to get you ready for the holiday!
Things you might want to know:
- Labor Day was designated a federal holiday in 1894, by which time more than 50% of the states were already marking the occasion.
- Canada actually beat us to the punch, designating Labor Day as a legal holiday in 1874.
- What sparked the emergence of Labor Day as a national holiday? Well, really long work hours. For most Americans and Canadians, workers used to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week, some beginning at age 5.
- In 1916, the Adamson Act set up the 8-hour workday to address long work hours in factories.
- Thousands of workers took an unpaid day off on Sept. 5, 1882 to assemble a parade in New York City as a protest against unfair work hours and wage, thus marking the beginning of the movement for Labor Day as a national holiday.
- Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in February 1887.
- New York, Colorado, Massachusetts and New Jersey followed shortly thereafter.
- No one actual knows who started Labor Day. Some believe it was Peter McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, who first suggested a day. Others believe it was Matthew Maguire, a machinist, who first proposed the holiday.
- The now traditional Labor Day parade was suggested in the original proposal of the holiday.
- Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, the start of school and the beginning of the football season in the US. It is also occasionally considered the day past which you cannot wear white without causing a fashion faux-pas, though that fashion rule is ceasing in popularity. Also, according to the National Hot Dog & Sausage Council, hot dog season begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day.
- Many other countries celebrate May Day a holiday very similar to our Labor Day, dedicated to workers rights.
- Labor Day is the third most popular day for barbecuing, after July 4 and Memorial Day.
- More beef is consumed on Memorial Day than any other day, with the Fourth of July and Labor Day usually tied for second place.