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What is Labor Day?

August 28, 2017

The Labor Day holiday will be celebrated in the United States this Monday, September 4.  Most people think of the holiday as a time to enjoy a day off and bid farewell to summer. Like the other federal holidays, it has a unique and interesting history. 

In the late 1800’s, Labor Day was a state holiday honoring the contributions of workers to the United States economy. In 1894, Labor Day became a federal holiday during a prominent national political dialog about worker wages and hours. At the center of the issue was the American Railway Union (ARU) strike against the Pullman Company. Within a week of the end of this strike, Congress voted unanimously to create Labor Day as the 7th Federal holiday. Labor unions used this new federal holiday as an annual occasion for parades and speeches promoting worker rights.

Like most holidays, Labor Day has evolved significantly from it's political beginnings. Today, Labor Day is commonly celebrated as a last hurrah to summer and a chance to spend time with family and friends.
Labor Day is celebrated each year on the first Monday of September. Check out our Federal Holidays Calendar to see the other federal holidays in the coming year.

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