Monday, September 5, 2016

The Origin of Labor Day

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Where and When Was the First Labor Day Holiday Observed?  

According to the United States Department of Labor website, the first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City in 1882.

What Was the First State to Make Labor Day a Holiday, and When Did That Happen?

In 1887, Oregon became the first state to pass a law making Labor Day an official holiday.

In What Year Did Labor Day Become a National Holiday?

It was not until 1894 that Labor Day was officially made a national holiday.

Happy Labor Day, America's Workforce!
Who Was the Founder of Labor Day?

This seems to be a matter of some debate. As per the aforesaid Department of Labor website:

Some records show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, was first in suggesting a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

But Peter McGuire's place in Labor Day history has not gone unchallenged. Many believe that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, not Peter McGuire, founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support the contention that Matthew Maguire, later the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is clear is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

During a speech in 1968, the U.S. Secretary of Labor officially credited Matt Maguire, a machinist, with being the father of the Labor Day Holiday.

         
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