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Labor Day

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Labor Day is observed as a legal holiday on the first Monday in September throughout the United States.

Labor Day is a holiday honoring the working people. Labor organizations sponsor various celebrations, but for most people it is a day of rest and recreation. For most Americans it marks the unofficial end of summer vacation season and the start of the school year. Many people celebrate with parades, barbeques, picnics, or a trip to the beach.

Two men have been credited with suggesting a holiday to honor working people in the United States - Matthew Maguire, a machinist from Paterson, N.J., and Peter McGuire, a New York City carpenter who helped found the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners. Both men played an important part in staging the first Labor Day parade in New York City on September 5, 1882.

In 1887, Colorado and Oregon made Labor Day a legal holiday. Oregon was the first to pass it on February 21, 1887. It was first proposed as "a street parade to exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations." President Grover Cleveland signed a bill in 1894 making Labor Day a national holiday.





U.S. Department of Labor: The History of Labor Day


PBS NewsHour: The Origins of Labor Day


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