History of Labor Day
Labor Day is celebrated annually on the first Monday of September. This holiday has been celebrated for over 100 years, with federal legislation that formalized its recognition in 1894.
The roots of Labor Day
Labor Day has its roots in the call to recognize workers’ contributions. In September 1892, union workers in New York City took an unpaid day off and marched around Union Square in support of the holiday. From 1887 to 1894, 23 states enacted a Labor Day holiday but the date varied by location. The Library of Congress has a Labor Day Research Guide which provides the context of how the legislation to approve a holiday came on the heels of the Pullman Strike in Chicago in 1894.
Find out more about American Labor History
Learn more about labor activists and the history of labor day from these sources:
- PBS: Workers Rights Activists And The History Of Labor Day
- Smithsonian: Labor Day
- U.S. Department of Labor: History of Labor Dayok
- An Evolving Labor Movement booklist