The History of Labor Day in 7 Fun Facts

This weekend millions of Americans will be enjoying their extended Labor Day weekend. More than just beach trips and mattress sales, Labor Day is an opportunity for us to pay tribute to the dedicated laborers of today and yesteryear. To help get you in the Labor Day frame of mind, we’ve put together a short list of some of our favorite Labor Day Fun facts.

Feel free to use these to impress your fellow clinicians this September 3rd.

A Celebration of Workers’ Contributions

Each year we celebrate the roughly 155 million U.S. workers’ social and economic achievements and contributions.  According to the Department of Labor the Holiday “constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

The Credit for Creator Is Up for Debate

There is still a debate over who started Labor Day. Both Peter J. McGuire (carpenter) and Matthew Maguire (machinist) are credited with the original 1882 parade. Since the two have similar sounding last names there was confusion on who to give the official credit.

It Became Official In 1894

On June 28, 1884, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday and President Grover Cleveland signed it into law.  The signing took place more than two decades before the US Department of Labor was established.

12 Hour Work Days

On average most American’s in the late 1800’s worked seven days a week for approximately 12 hours a day.  Luckily, the Adamson Act was passed in 1916 and established the 8-hour workday!  It was the first federal law to regulate hours worked within private companies.

You Can Wear White After Labor Day

The logic behind this tradition dates back to the Victorian era where wearing white indicated you were still in ‘vacation mode’.  While this tradition is still widely referenced, it is perfectly acceptable to wear white after Labor Day.

In today’s world, climate and fashion trends often dictate and encourage the use of white past the beginning of September.

One of The Busiest Travel Weekends

Labor Day is known as the unofficial end of Summer, which means that many people try to schedule one last long weekend getaway.  Travel during the weekend has continued to grow over the years. So much so that in 2017 USA Today named is one of the Top 10 Worst Travel Days.

Signals the Close Of Hot Dog Season

Labor Day marks the conclusion of hot dog season.  The hot dog season spans from Memorial Day to Labor Day during which Americans consume an estimated 7 billion hot dogs.  At this year’s Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest reigning champion Joey Chestnut won his 11th title and broke his own world record by eating 74 hot dogs in 10 minutes.

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Brook Phillips