How are all of you Western Star fans celebrating Labor Day this year? Let us tell you a little about how Labor Day became a national holiday.
Labor Day is a holiday in the United States, Canada (Labour Day), and many other countries. It is celebrated on the first Monday in September, and is a tribute to workers for their contribution to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country. Some other countries celebrate workers’ rights on or around May 1.
Who Thought of Labor Day First?
Although it is still unknown as to who first proposed the holiday in the United States, speculation says it was either Peter J. McGuire or Matthew McGuire. Some say that Peter McGuire of the American Federation of Labor first proposed the idea after witnessing the annual Labour Festival in Toronto, Canada in the 1880’s. The Canadian Labour Day originated as a way to celebrate workers’ rights. Others say Matthew McGuire, a machinist, proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York. Research has been done, but this is still an unanswered question.
Labor Day – The Official Holiday
The first U.S. Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City. In 1884 it was determined that the holiday would be celebrated on the first Monday in September. In order to get other cities to follow suit, the Central Labor Union urged everyone to celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” every year. The idea spread, and by 1885 Labor Day was celebrated nearly all around the country. On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making Labor Day a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.
In the past, street parades were a main event, followed by festivals for workers and their families. Later, speeches by prominent men and women were added to the mix.
Today, Labor Day addresses that are done by leading union officials, industrialists, educators, clerics, and government officials are in the media via newspapers, radio, television, and online.
Many businesses and organizations are closed, so Labor Day is an opportune time to plan a getaway weekend or a staycation (a vacation where leisure activities take place within a short driving distance). Others will enjoy the company of family and friends at picnics, fairs, festivals, and firework displays. For students, Labor Day weekend used to be the last chance to celebrate or go on a trip before school starts again for another year. In the more recent years, school begins in August, so Labor Day weekend represents the first, of many, breaks that the school offers and that the students look forward to.
Star Nation would like to thank all its members from the Philippines and Australia, to the U.S. and Canada, and those from all other corners for the globe, for all your hard work, especially those in the trucking industry! We hope you have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend!