As we embark on a three-day weekend, here is a brief history of this holiday that marks the end of summer for many of us.
Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 and is celebrated on the first Monday in September. The origins of the holiday lay in the American Industrial Revolution and the harsh conditions workers endured. As labor unions grew and became more influential, strikes and rallies were organized to voice the concerns and frustrations of the workers. The first Labor Day parade was actually a protest by 10,000 workers in New York City. They marched from City Hall to Union Square on September 5, 1882 and created a longstanding tradition.
Today we celebrate with barbecues, parties, parades and fireworks displays. Retail stores traditionally offer deep discounts for this weekend. NFL and NCAA teams kick off their seasons in the week prior to Labor Day. Most importantly, though, its an opportunity to honor the men and women who built our nation and the labor that made it strong.