Happy Labor Day

It’s that time of year again! Labor Day is almost here!

As we celebrate Labor Day, we honor the men and women who fought tirelessly for workers’ rights, which are so critical to our strong and successful labor force. ~Elizabeth Esty

While some mark this as the unofficial end of summer where kids go back to school, the pools and summer recreation areas close for the season, this holiday also represents a large part of history in terms of unions and hard working white and blue collar American workers.

What is Labor Day?

Labor Day is a Federal holiday of festivities held in honor of working people in the US and Canada and is held on the first Monday in September. This year, Labor Day is set for Monday, September 4, 2017.

History

This holiday was established in 1887 in the state of Oregon. Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York followed in the next couple of years. Not even a decade later, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers. Congress passed an act on June 28th, 1894 that made the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday for the entire United States States.

How Does the United States Celebrate Labor Day?

For most Americans in both blue and white collar jobs, this is a celebrated as an extra day off from work to relax and spend time with the family.

People celebrate with a few different activities.

  • Parades
  • BBQ/Cookouts
  • Family gatherings and parties

Do Other Countries Celebrate This Holiday?

Yes! Many other countries celebrate this holiday. Canada observes Labor Day on the first Monday of September as well. Over 80 countries around the world observe this holiday on various dates throughout the year but many choose May 1st.

Who Works on Labor Day?

There are still people that work on Labor Day that we cannot forget. From the truck drivers who deliver goods from one part of the country to another, the emergency workers such as EMTs, firefighters, first responders, police officers who keep us safe and, of course, members of the military often do not get this day off to celebrate and relax with their families.

NOTE: This Labor Day will be especially a stressful time for those working the rescue and cleanup efforts in the Houston, Texas area from Hurricane Harvey. Take a moment this weekend to recognize their efforts and maybe as a family, think of a way that you can help. Check out the NPR website for ideas.