A Brief History of Labor Day

United States Flag

Labor Day is tomorrow, and many Americans across the country are settling in for a day of rest and quality time with loved ones and friends. While it’s easy to get swept up in the appeal of a rare “free Monday” away from work, it’s also very worthwhile to take a moment to understand just how exactly Labor Day came to exist!

It all began with a street parade in New York City in September of 1882. That year, a number of labor unions in the city came together as an act of solidarity and to call awareness to the challenges and triumphs of the labor movement in America. Although the event started quite small (it is estimated that it began with roughly 200 attendees) it blossomed to well over 20,000 people marching near City Hall in Manhattan.

From Street Parade to Federal Holiday

By 1894, Labor Day was officially a federal holiday! Since then, a wide variety of changes have been made on both a federal and state level as part of an effort to further codify the rights of workers in the United States. Many elements of modern work that we take for granted – a five-day work week; 40 hours of work being equivalent to full-time employment; paid time off – all of these are byproducts of continued support of labor and working class rights in the United States.

Now, we tangibly celebrate the efforts of past advocates by stepping away from work on Monday. That being said, it is always humbling to remember just how much work it has taken to get this far, and how much work is left to go for all workers in America!

From the entire team at Montes Law Group, we wish you a Happy Labor Day!