Labor Day 2016

Much like The Fourth of July holiday, the first Monday in September is celebrated as Labor Day. A day of relaxing, kicking back with family, friends and a barbacue, or two. Few of us know the history behind the Labor Day Holiday so some reading, and teachable moments, might be in order.

Over time the nation devoted increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation.

The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit.

By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

Remember though, the Labor Day Holiday does have a somewhat ‘checkered’ and violent past. See below.

Who was the founder of Labor Day? As with many moments in history there is some dispute regardig that question. This is where some reading might be in order and only you can decide what is right – or wrong – as the case may be.

Some resources:

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