Why do we celebrate Labor Day?

Here's why we have Labor Day

Labor Day is one of just ten days considered a federal holiday when government offices are closed. 

We talk a lot about what holidays like Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Presidents' Day mean, but do people know what Labor Day is for?

“I just know that I love the extra day off,” one person enjoying the day off in St. Pete said. “A three day weekend is amazing.”

Most people we asked didn’t know why we have Labor Day, so here’s some background.

The U.S. Department of Labor says it honors the creation of the labor movement and the contributions of American workers towards the prosperity of the United States.

During the Labor Movement of the 1800's, unions fought for better wages, safer working conditions, and reasonable hours. That's where the traditional eight-hour work day came from.

The first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882. Labor groups came together for a huge demonstration in New York City.

In 1887, President Grover Cleveland announced his support for a Labor Day holiday in September. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, 30 states officially celebrated Labor Day already. Oregon was the first state to recognize it as a public holiday.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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