Why do we celebrate Labor Day?
Here we are – it’s Labor Day weekend, and I get an extra day off from my job helping folks rent storage space for residential storage and commercial storage at The Storage Inn! Summer is almost over, and the kids are going back to school, so let’s take this weekend to relax and barbeque! But what is Labor Day and why do we celebrate it? Here is a quick look at the meaning and history of Labor Day…
Labor Day can be traced back to a parade organized by New York City union leaders in 1882. In those days, unions were mostly concerned with getting their members a fair wage, decent working conditions, and a decent work schedule. The parade was held on Tuesday, September 5th, and billed as a “Monster Labor Festival”. Few people showed up that morning, and organizers were beginning to worry that workers were reluctant to give up a day’s wages to join the rally, but soon workers began flowing in from across the city. By the end of the day, over 10,000 people had marched in the parade, and joined in the after parade festivities, in what the press dubbed, “a day of the people”.
Let’s make it official
Annual festivities to honor the nation’s workers spread quickly across the country, but Labor Day didn’t become an official holiday for more than a decade. In 1887 Oregon became the first state to make Labor Day an official holiday quickly followed by states like New York, Massachusetts and Colorado.
Prompted by the growing awareness of the labor movement across the United States, President Grover Cleveland made Labor Day an official holiday in 1896.
Take Time to Remember
So whether you’re a CEO, a waiter, or work in the storage rental industry like me, take time this weekend, between the beach and fireworks, to remember what Labor Day is all about. Just think…without the historic efforts of the of the labor movement throughout U.S. history, we would all be working on the first Monday of September!