Origins of Labor Day


Macy McCaffrey, Staff Writer

Every fall, people look forward to their three day weekend; thanks to Labor Day. But why do we get this day to stay home and relax? Most associate it with the end of the summer, and the beginning of a new school year. However this is not the case.

The first Labor Day was celebrated back in 1882, September 5th. Unlike nowadays, it was not a time for barbecuing and annual sales at your local shopping mall. Labor Day was the result of the ongoing battle for recognition of the working class in America. At the roots of all American architecture, economics and overall culture, someone had to work for it. American citizens’ efforts could be considered the groundwork for most of our economic strides and strengths. The Labor Movement of the eighteenth century would bring light to that. 

The Labor Movement can be simply defined as the organized effort of the labor unions to fight for better wages, end child labor, and give health benefits to working class citizens. The Labor Unions around America would stage protests in the form of slowing down work and having all employees call in sick, until eventually their pleas were heard. The United States Department of Labor would later be established on March 4th, 1913, with the intention to sympathize with the working class and provide benefits to working citizens. 

Every year Labor Day comes around, it is there to give recognition to the working class citizens of America. As you take time off to relax and enjoy your time off next Labor Day, remember the movement that created the holiday in the first place.