Celebrated on the first Monday of September, Labor Day is a holiday that was created as an annual celebration of workers and their achievements. Labor Day was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894. Today however, Labor Day symbolizes the end of summer and is celebrated by barbeques, parades, and athletic events.
In the late 1800s during the height of the Industrial Revolution, the average American worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week. Despite age restrictions in some states, children as young as 6 years old held jobs in mills, factories, and mines across the country. Children only earned a fraction of their adult counterparts. Labor unions began organizing during this time as well making sure the workers were treated and paid fairly. The first labor day or workingmens holiday came to fruition on September 5th, 1882, when 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City. The idea of Labor Day spread across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it as a holiday. Congress however, would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later in 1894 in an attempt to repair ties with American workers and labor unions.
Today, we celebrate Labor Day as a day of rest with picnics, parades, barbecues, fireworks, and as the end of summer.