Labor Day Past and Present

Labor Day - love it or hate it? While the long weekend offers the chance for a quick overnight getaway or a fun backyard party at home, it also has a different meaning for families. Labor Day typically marks the end of summer, kids back in school, and the start of a busy fall season. But what is the origin of this holiday?

Labor Day was first celebrated on September 5, 1882 with a parade of 10,000 workers. The event was organized by Peter J. McGuire, a secretary for the Carpenters and Joiners Union. Over the next decade celebrations for Labor Day expanded to over half the states in the U.S. Then in 1894 Congress passed a bill that officially declared the first Monday in September to be Labor Day.

Here are some interesting Labor Day facts from the U.S. Census:

  • 153.2 million people ages 16 or older make up the U.S. workforce as of July 2011
  • The average commute is 25.1 minutes
  • 3.2 million commuters travel 90 or more minutes to work each day
  • 16.5 million commuters leave for work between midnight and 6 am
  • 5.9 million people work from home

If you are lucky enough to have Labor Day off, celebrate with family and friends. Have a picnic, head to the movies, organize a last minute trip, or host a Labor Day cookout. Want more ideas for how to celebrate Labor Day? Explore additional Labor Day ideas now!

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