Labor Day is celebrated on the first Monday of September. How did it start, and what does wearing white have to do with the holiday? Here are a few facts about Labor Day.
It Started in New York City
The idea of celebrating a “Labor Day” first came around in 1882. The New York City unions wanted to acknowledge their members and each other. Around 20,000 people filled the streets to celebrate with a parade. In the years that followed, other areas of the country started the same kind of celebrations and eventually multiple states made Labor Day a holiday.
It Went Federal in 1894
By the mid-1890s, many states had adopted a Labor Day holiday. It wasn’t until a violent railroad labor strike, that President Grover Cleveland wanted to make Labor Day a federal holiday. On June 28, 1894, Congress passed the law making the first Monday of September Labor Day. Therefore, today is the 130th National Labor Day.
No White After Labor Day
This is a saying we have all heard, you should never wear white after Labor Day. Where did this come from? It’s actually quite simple, many people would wear white while on vacation during the summer. Labor Day has been the traditional end of summer for over a century, and once summer ended, your vacation wear would be put away. Some even took people wearing white after Labor Day as a sign they thought they were better, because they could afford to take vacations later in the year.
Evolution of the Holiday
Many places all across the country still hold Labor Day parades. There are also public gatherings, fireworks, and end of season celebrations. Since its inception, Labor Day has become a holiday where friends and families come together and for cook outs and parties. Not only is it the end of summer, but for many children and young adults, it signals the start of the school year.
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