OHIO VALLEY — Labor Day, which is celebrated the first Monday in September, traditionally marks the end of summer and the start of many things including the school year (in many places) and the NFL and NCAA football seasons.
But that is not the reason the holiday was created more than 100 years ago.
According to the US Department of Labor, the holiday was created by the labor movement in the 1880s and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.
It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of the country.
The first Labor Day observance was in New York City on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day on Sept. 5, 1883.
Labor Day was moved to the traditional first Monday of September in 1884 and was celebrated as a “workingmen’s holiday.”
Labor Day was first recognized by the government in 1885 and 1886 with the passage of ordinances by municipalities. Oregon became the first state to pass legislation to recognize the holiday in 1887.
Congress passed an act in 1894 making the first Monday of September a legal holiday.
Since that time celebrations have ranged from parades to speeches by union leaders and business leaders.