September 1, 2013 in City

National ‘workingmen’s holiday’ is more than a century old

Graphic By Molly Quinn The Spokesman-Review
 

Labor Day.
(Full-size photo)

The first observance of Labor Day was likely on Sept. 5, 1882, when some 10,000 workers assembled in New York City for a parade. That celebration 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. 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 – a creation of the labor movement in the late 19th century – pays tribute to the social and economic achievements of American workers.


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