OUR VIEW: The history of why you’re off on Monday

Published 10:30 am Saturday, September 3, 2022

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This upcoming Monday is Labor Day, which means a day off work for most of us and a chance to spend some time with family and friends. 

Labor Day is a celebration of workers and their achievements, but it actually started out of a dark time for the American worker. 

According to History.com, during the late 1800s labor unions grew prominent and vocal and led protests against manufacturing companies, which often had long hours, poor conditions and low pay.

In September 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, which is believed to be the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.  Following the parade, several states started passing legislation recognizing a “labor day,” though Congress wouldn’t create a national holiday until 12 years later. 

It was first signed into law on June 28, 1894, by President Grover Cleveland. 

Many call Labor Day the unofficial end of summer, and the official beginning of football season. 

To think of all the American worker has dealt with in recent years — wearing masks, social distancing, COVID tests, remote work, picking up the slack when shorthanded, etc — we think this Labor Day is a well-deserved day off. 

Many will hit the road this weekend for last-minute summer trips to the beach and other popular spots. 

Whatever you do, we ask that you do it safely.  We hope you’re able to enjoy a day off work relaxing somewhere. After all, that’s the point of the holiday.