What is Labor Day?
Labor Day is a holiday in the US celebrated on the first Monday in September.
Why do we celebrate it?
As laborers we built this country, and through our hard work we have earned a day of the year dedicated to the hard work of laborers!
What’s the history of Labor Day?
The first Labor Day was celebrated on May 1st in the late 1800s as a commemoration of the Haymarket Affair, an event that occurred after a bombing in Chicago during a labor demonstration. Since then, in the rest of the world and for some time in the US, labor was celebrated on May 1st as International Workers’ Day, a celebration of labor worldwide. In 1894, however, the US congress passed a bill recognizing the first Monday in September as Labor Day. Since then, we have celebrated the hard work of labor every year. Labor Day celebrated the hard-fought victories and struggles of unions and workers because without those, we would be nowhere.
But why don’t we celebrate on May 1st?
The rest of the world celebrates labor on May 1 as an international celebration of workers. The decision to remove the US from day was political. At the time, workers of all countries began to recognize their unity with each other, and for many this was seen as a threat! Politicians devised a plan to move the US’s workers as the power of different and more radical union activists were on the rise. Because May 1st commemorates the Haymarket Affair, these politicians were worried that this would further radicalize workers and polarize workers and business. As a result, we now celebrate in September. May 1st in the US is now recognized as Loyalty Day and Law Day, days which are intended to reaffirm loyalty and obedience to the US Government and its interests.
There are many groups in the US that continue to celebrate labor on May 1st and in September.
Labor should be celebrated everyday. Labor brought us the 8-hour workday. Labor brought us higher wages, weekends, safety, and the ability to stand together. Labor built this country. Through our strength as workers and as unions, we can achieve whatever we want when we work together in solidarity.