History of Labor Day

Updated: May 20

Happy Labor Day! In this blog, we summarize how Labor Day came about and how it has evolved.


The First Labor Day

Labor Day is an American Holiday reserved on the first Monday of September to honor the American Labor Movement and the laborers for their accomplishments. Matthew Macguire and Peter Macguire organized the first Labor Day Parade in 1882 in New York City to celebrate the strength, dedication, and achievements of laborers. There is much debate as to whose idea it was from the two. While the world quarrels between Team Matthew or Team Peter, both have left a lasting footprint in history.


National Holiday Declared

After the first parade, 23 more states adopted the holiday by 1894. While many parades grew larger year after year, President Grover Cleveland signed a law on June 28, 1894 making Labor Day a National Holiday. Celebrations consisted of parades and enjoyment for workers and their families. As time passed, there had been more focus on the economic significance of the holiday. As a result, the American Federation of Labor Convention of 1909, announced the Sunday after Labor day dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspect of the labor movement.


Labor day 2020 - The American Worker

In today’s modern era, Labor Day is seen as a day off to socialize and rest with family and friends. Another holiday on the calendar where a worker gets to have a 3 day weekend. However, not many ponder at the idea of the holiday or question why it exists. This holiday is here to remind us that laborers are resilient. Even in the midst of a pandemic we will rise stronger than ever before. We are thankful for all those workers risking their lives to provide food for our tables. Let us be more mindful and grateful going forward.


Happy Labor Day everyone! Wishing you and your loved ones a healthy and safe holiday.


About HR Lab: Formed in 2020, in the midst of the pandemic, HR Lab is here to make a difference. At HR Lab, we work to strengthen workforce quality by improving the HR system, ensuring its ongoing relevance, and preparing employers, workers, educators, and governments to use it effectively. Our vision is a labor market that relies on the relevance, quality, and value of workforce credentials for opportunities, growth, and development.

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