Researching things for my blog and my books is always an adventure that leads me to new discoveries. I wanted to do a little post about what Labor Day actually is other than the signal for the end of summer. I had no idea it went back so far--all the way to the 1880s!
The first labor day celebration, according to the Department of Labor website, was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In 1884 the first Monday in September was chosen as the official day to celebrate a workingman's holiday and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to adopt the day as well. It became a federal holiday in 1894.
The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday. There should be a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.
The spirit of the holiday is meant to honor the ingenuity and productiveness of the American worker. Unfortunately some of that has gotten lost. It's the end of summer, signals the beginning of the school year, and, oh yes, there still that question about the end to wearing the color white until spring.