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Posts Tagged ‘Labor Day’

Workers Unite & Enjoy That Day Off: The Backstory on Labor Day

And now for something completely different…

If you’ve been working hard the whole year, it’s time to enjoy a break on Monday!

Here are some facts you may not know about Labor Day, courtesy of the Department of Labor:

  • The first recognition for Labor Day by the government was passed in 1885 and 1886.
  • The first state bill was introduced to New York whereas the first state law was issued in Oregon in 1887.
  • Individual states observed the holiday by legislative enactment such as Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York. Soon thereafter, Connecticut, Nebraska and Pennsylvania were on board, too.
  • Sensing a trend, 23 additional states observed the holiday by 1894 to honor workers.
  • On June 28 that year, Congress declared the first Monday in September a legal holiday.
  • For the scoop on the history surrounding the founders themselves, check out our post from last year.
And in the spirit of the holiday, we’re logging off now. Your friends at MediaJobsDaily hope you are logging off, too.
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Celebrating the Origins of Labor Day

If you’re excited for Labor Day, raise your hand!

Okay, along with most Americans we’ll celebrate the day off but we figure as media professionals we should take a moment to dive into the back story.

According to the Department of Labor, the very first Labor Day was celebrated in NYC in 1882 in accordance with plans made by the Central Labor Union. Known as a “workingman’s holiday” (ahem, that should be working people, thank you very much), it spread with growth of labor organizations and the following year it was feted in other locations, too.

As for the back story itself, it’s a bit unclear. As per the government site, some records point to Peter J. McGuire, theĀ general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. Apparently he was the first person to suggest a day to honor people who “fromĀ rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

Others believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, founded the holiday instead. In 1882 he allegedly proposed the holiday during his tenure as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York.

Regardless of McGuire or Maguire, the labor union created the Labor Day proposal and the rest is history.