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Labor Day is a well-known federal holiday which is celebrated each year on the first Monday of September. Known as a time when the unofficial summer season ends and kids head back to school, many may not know the patriotic history behind Labor Day. In general, this federal holiday was created to give thanks to the hardworking American men and women and provide them with a day off. But, there is more to the creation of Labor Day than you might think!
The Beginning of Labor Day: How it Started
What began as an unofficial holiday created by labor unions was later proclaimed a federal holiday by President Grover Cleveland in 1894. The initial showings of the unofficial Labor Day began in the early 1880's when labor unions would encourage their union members to join in parades and picnics in order to advertise and gain support for their labor reform agendas. Then, in the late 1880's and early 1890's, states began to make Labor Day an official holiday through state legislation.
But, state legislation proclaiming Labor Day an official state holiday wasn't enough and federal law designation was desired. The American Federation of Labor (AFL) started to push for Labor Day to be a federal holiday and have it take a lighter tone than another labor-related day, May Day, which was often filled with protests and radical behavior. The AFL finally experienced success with this goal and Labor Day was marked down on the calendar as a federal holiday in 1894.
How to Show Your Patriotic Spirit This Labor Day
The Labor Day of today is one filled with picnics and celebrations more so than a push for labor reform. Many individuals do still have to work on Labor Day, especially in the retail and hospitality industries, but federal employees, state employees and many non-governmental entity employees have this day off from work. In keeping with the spirit of the American worker, showing your patriotic spirit on Labor Day is always an appropriate thing to do.
Attend a Labor Day parade and wear your most patriotic outfit as you appreciate this wonderful American holiday. You can also host a barbecue or picnic at your home and decorate your event in red, white and blue. For those who want to spend Labor Day in a day-of-service capacity, volunteer at your local veteran's home and show appreciation for those who have fought for our country.
However you choose to spend your Labor Day, take a moment to appreciate this patriotic holiday and all those who have made our freedom possible.