Celebrating Labor Day

The tradition of celebrating Labor Day as a national holiday is over one hundred years old. From its original conception as a labor union celebration, it has grown to be symbolic of the end of summer activities.

It began in 1882 in New York as a parade by the Knights of Columbus to give credit for the contributions to New York life of working class citizens. In 1884, a large parade organized by the Knights to celebrate the working class. The first Monday in September was chosen for the date of the parade, and the Knights decided to hold all future parades on that day. From then on the Knights designated the first Monday in September as Labor Day.

Toward the end of the 1800s, labor organizations began to lobby state legislatures to observe Labor Day as an official state holiday. In 1894, Congress passed a law that designated Labor Day as an official national holiday.

Currently Labor Day is celebrated in the United States, Canada, and other industrialized countries. In the U.S. it is a general holiday which also designates the end of the summer season.

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