What is Labor Day? The short answer is that it is the national holiday that falls on the first Monday of September each year. The general view point of the holiday is that it signifies the end of the summer season – a three day weekend people generally use to have family cook outs or trips to the beach or other ways to celebrate a Monday off work designated to honor American workers.
But, there is more to it than that! The first US Labor Day was September 5, 1882. The declaration of a new national holiday was rushed through Congress in response to a violent labor strike that resulted in several deaths at the hands of US Marshals and the military. The strike started because of labor and salary cuts made by George Pullman due to tough times in his rail car company. Thousands of workers walked off their jobs. Other unions joined the strike – workers refused to work on Pullman cars, backing up rail transit and mail delivery. President Grover Cleveland stepped in by declaring the strike illegal and bloodshed ensued. To lift the morale of American workers, Labor Day was declared a legal holiday.
So, Labor Day is a day to celebrate the workforce – to thank them for their service! We choose to use it as a good excuse to head to the beach and cook hot dogs on patios across the country one last time before the end of summer and the autumn weather begins.
HAPPY LABOR DAY! Don’t eat too many hot dogs!