The ins and outs of Labor Day

On the first Monday of September, Labor Day celebrates the average American worker and their diligence towards their social and economic achievements.

As many students get their break on for the day, here are a few things you may not know about this national holiday:

  • It was first celebrated in September 5, 1882 by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor. A grand parade in New York City highlighted “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” according to the US Department Labor Union.
  • Maquire vs. McGuire: It’s not clear who’s the father of Labor Day is. Some argue it is Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, who after experiencing the celebration in Canada, wanted to commemorate those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold,” or the hard worker. Then there’s Matthew Maguire, a secretary and mechanist of a local International Association of Machinists in New Jersey, who celebrated with a picnic to celebrate it. Maquire leads the US Department of Labor public poll by 52 percent.
  • It wasn’t even approved by Congress until 1894, twelve years later.
  • Why should we not wear white after Labor Day? According to TIME, the Labor Day holiday officially says goodbye to summer and hello to fall. White wardrobe was mainly used in the summer to keep people cool in the hot season, so to continue wearing the bright colored clothes would be both ignorant and just symbolically wrong.
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, $157 million people (ages 16 and over) are in the nation’s labor force in June 2015.

So as you start your Monday by setting up the grill or just catching up on your Netflix shows while slouching on the couch instead of heading to school, this Labor Day holiday celebrates the hardworking for the day. Enjoy!

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