How did Labor Day become a national holiday?


It's the holiday that marks the unofficial end of summer. But what exactly is Labor Day and why do we celebrate it?

This national holiday always falls on the first Monday in September. This year, it's on Monday, Sept. 4.

In the late 19th century, the American labor movement began promoting a holiday to honor the social and economic contributions workers across the country make and the critical role they play in our prosperity and quality of life.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, led by the Central Labor Union.

Five years later, in 1887, Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day a public holiday and it was quickly followed by four other states.

Then in 1894, with 23 states already recognizing the holiday, Congress made Labor Day an official national holiday.

America’s neighbor to the north, Canada, also celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September.

Meanwhile, more than 80 other nations around the world celebrate their workers on May 1, which is known as International Workers Day.

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off