The first observance of Labor Day was likely on September 5, 1882, when some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
This parade inspired similar events across the country, and by 1894 more than half the states were observing a “workingmen’s holiday” on one day or another.
Later that year, with Congress passing legislation and President Grover Cleveland signing the bill on June 29, the first Monday in September was designated “Labor Day.”
This national holiday is a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century and pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of workers in America.
Who Are We Celebrating?
Why, the 159.8 million people age 16 and over in the nation’s labor force as of May 2017. That’s who!