August 2019

The History of Labor Day

Although in dispute, the creation  of Labor Day is generally attributed  to machinist Matthew Maguire of  Local 344 in Patterson, NJ. Maguire is though to have  come up with the idea as  secretary of the Central  Labor Union in New York. Other records show the day was  suggested by carpenter Peter McGuire, to  honor those "who from rude nature have delved  and carved all the grandeur we behold.". Regardless of who created it,  the day is "dedicated to the social  and economic achievements  of American workers.". The first Labor Day holiday  was celebrated on Tuesday,  September 5, 1885 in New York City. By 1894 President Grover Cleveland  signed the law making the first Monday  in September a national holiday. Early Labor Day street parades were  intended to exhibit "the strength and  esprit de corps of the trade and labor  organizations" of particular communities. Today, Labor Day offers  Americans an extended weekend  with events that continue  to be tied to community. Labor Day 2019 — September 2, 2019 —  marks the 125th anniversary of the holiday.