Oh, Labor Day. Though I believe I have always loved you, I never appreciated you nearly as much until I became one of the peons of Corporate America. Having a mere ten vacation days a year gives you a much deeper appreciation for the random day off, let me tell you.
To me, Labor Day has always symbolized the beginning of fall and an excuse to gorge myself on burgers and beer. Other than being a day of rest for all us laborers out there (except of course for the bazillion people that don’t have “regular” nine-to-five jobs and still have to work on this date, which is so very unfair), I didn’t know much about this holiday. So I put my best friend google to work and within minutes I learned a little more about this wonderful end of summer holiday.
Some of these you probably already know, but some of them? Well, I was clueless. My lack of basic historical knowledge is just plain embarrassing sometimes.
So here you have it…
Fun Facts about Labor Day
- Labor Day originated during the industrial revolution in the late 1800s, at a time when the average American worked more than 12 hour days seven days a week, with kids starting to work as young as five years old!
- Labor Day is always the first Monday in the month of September.
- The first ever Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882, which just so happened to be a Tuesday. It was then proposed to have the holiday take place on a Monday in order to make it more of a “workingmen’s holiday.”
- There is quite a bit of disagreement over who actually created Labor Day. Some people believe that it was peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (which still exists) but others claim it was a machinist named Matthew Maguire.
- Oregon was the first state to make Labor day a holiday, in 1887. It became an official federal holiday in 1894.
- For many, Labor Day is more a symbol of the end of a summer than it is a day of appreciation and honor for American workers.
- Labor Day also marks the beginning of football season.
- Internationally, more than 80 countries have their own “Labor Day,” known as International Workers Day. This holiday takes place on May 1st.
- According to some, Labor Day is the last day of the year when it is “acceptable” to wear white or seersucker (does anyone actually follow this rule?).
And with that, I wish you a very happy, and very restful, Labor Day.
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