The origins of Labor Day

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An iconic labor poster from the World War II era.

As we enter the long Labor Day Weekend, here is a brief look at how Labor Day itself became a formal national holiday.

From the U.S. Department of Labor:

“Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation.

“The first state bill was introduced into the New York State Legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment.

“By the end of the decade, Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the
territories.”

For a more complete look at the history of Labor Day, as well as links to related stories and information, just click here


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