A Brief History of Labor Day
Created during the height of the Industrial Revolution, Labor Day was meant to pay tribute to American workers. The holiday was first recognized on September 5, 1882 when 10,000 blue collar workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City in protest, creating the first Labor Day parade. This idea for a “workingman’s holiday” began to gain precedence in other states, being recognized each year on the first Monday of September. However, the congressional act that officially named Labor Day as a national holiday wasn’t passed until 1894. Now Labor Day is celebrated nationally, giving workers a well-deserved day to relax, and marking the end of summer for most children who are starting back at school.
Fun Things to do for Labor Day
The first Labor Day was celebrated much like it still is today, with a parade, picnics, and fireworks, but there are so many more options on how to spend the long weekend.
Host a Barbeque — Labor Day marks the end of summer, which doesn’t just mean it’s time to put away the white pants. Have a nice outdoor meal while the weather’s still agreeable and spend the day surrounded by good company and delicious food. Whether you invite some friends to join you or just stick together as a family, a barbeque is a great way to get together and enjoy some time in the yard before life gets out of hand.
Go Camping — Nature is calling! Go for a camping trip before it’s too cold and enjoy some time where you can see all the stars in the sky while telling stories around a campfire. Bring your family or a handful of friends and delight in some peace and quiet away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. You will create wonderful memories and hopefully brighten your mood towards the coming work week.
Go for a Hike — Don’t have the full weekend free? You can still spend a day appreciating nature while also getting a good amount of exercise. Hike a mountain or walk a park trail. Bring a picnic lunch and sit for a while in the great outdoors. Remember, never hike alone. It’s dangerous and not nearly as fun as when you bring along other people.
Shopping Spree! — It’s impossible not to notice the amount of sales happening for Labor Day weekend, and with back to school and the changing of the season, it’s a great time to take advantage of them. Change up your wardrobe, prepare the kids for the new school year, or even look into bigger purchases while prices are in your favor. Make a day of it, treat yourself a little, and get ready for the new season.
Take a Trip — It’s your last real vacation option until Columbus Day weekend, so take advantage of it. Visit a family member who lives out of town or just go to a small tourist location. You could go away for the weekend or just take a day trip or two. Find a beach and spend a day in the sand before summer officially ends. It’s a great time to explore somewhere new.
Festival Fever — Just because it’s suddenly September doesn’t mean it’s the end of fair and festival season. Yes, many fairs will be reaching their last weekend, but many will still be open through the holiday, and others might just be starting. There are sure to be events filled with carnival rides, games, crafts, music, or bizarre and definitely fried foods. What reason is there not to go?
Relax — Most people have a day off, so why not just treat it as such? Try to have a you day. Read a book, watch a movie with your family, maybe play a board game or two, and just chill. Soon there’ll be projects and sports practices and holidays to prepare for, so why not take this time to breathe and rest easy before the busy insanity of life comes to knock on your door.
However you choose to spend your day, have fun, be safe, and remember that the holiday exists to appreciate a year of hard work and to pay tribute toward the laborers who built America up to what it is today.