Friday, August 30, 2013

Labor Day

Americans celebrate Labor Day every first Monday of September. This holiday celebrates the efforts of workers with most workers and students getting the day off.

A machinist named Matthew Maguire, secretary of the New York Central Labor Union, proposed a Labor Day holiday in 1882. Some believe it was actually Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor that proposed the holiday that same year. It became a federal holiday in 1894, but 30 states had already recognized the holiday individually.

The holiday tradition is also owed to the Knights of Labor, who held a large labor themed parade in 1882. Other labor associations continued to make Labor Day celebrations popular.

Many observers relax at home or head to outdoor recreational activities, such as boating, barbecues, and camping. It is a day to celebrate the end of summer, as many schoolchildren start school after Labor Day. It may also be marked with firework shows and other patriotic events.

Parades are the most common mode of celebration, which often feature processions of labor groups. One of the larger parades is held in Brooklyn.  The parade boasts up to three million participants from a variety of ethnic groups.