With Labor Day almost upon us, it is important to look back and understand why it came to be the federal holiday it is. On the first Monday of September every year, the United States pauses to honor its workers and the contributions they make to our nation’s prosperity. On September 5, 1882, more than 10,000 men and women paraded through the streets of Manhattan to celebrate the first Labor Day.
Over a hundred years ago, when laborers were first getting the recognition they deserved, the workforce in this country looked very different. Factory workers, day laborers, miners and other hard labor jobs were the focus and fore front of honoring workers. Today, with the industrialization of machine-operated factories and alternative sources for energy, the forefront of labor workers are chain store employees.
In 1894, the United States Congress voted to approve legislation for Labor Day to become an official holiday. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the day is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers, and it serves as a tribute to their continued strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country. New York’s Central Labor Union organized the day of celebration in honor of the workers who fought to secure higher wages, shorter hours, and better working conditions for laborers.
American workers transformed the United States and the world with a quality of life never seen in history. Work itself has meaning. No matter what kind of job you have, there’s meaning in what you do. There’s value in what you provide. Working people are the backbone of the American economy, let’s dedicate ourselves to acknowledging the value of work.
This Labor Day, let’s remember that we’re celebrating a day of the people by actually respecting the work we all do to make America the land of hope and opportunity it has always been.