This holiday was created during the days of America’s industrial revolution, when the national labor movement was dominant in industry and politics. The first recorded observance of the holiday, which is slated for the first Monday in September each year, was in 1882.
There is disagreement whether this first observance was the idea of a man named Peter McGuire who was Secretary of the Carpenters Union, or was the idea of Matthew Macguire, who was Secretary of a Machinist Union. Regardless, the holiday came into being in 1882 through the insistence of a trade union official. In the ensuing years the holiday gained in observance as more and more unions across the country had the observance of a special day for the “American industrial worker” written into union contracts. Finally, in 1894, congress enacted a federal law, making Labor Day a national holiday.
Originally it was a day of huge parades in industrial centers, marked by speeches from Union bosses and politicians. Today, especially with the waning of industry in our nation, the holiday is one which marks the end of the summer season, the last summer outing, or a family back yard barbecue…… Enjoy!