Labor Day in United States

Labor Day in United States

When is Labor Day in the US?

The United States celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday in September. In 2023, the US will observe Labor Day on Monday, September 4.

What is Labor Day?

Labor Day is listed as a federal holiday in the United States. On this day, Americans honor the American labor movement as well as the laborers' efforts and contributions to the country's growth and accomplishments.

The significance of the American labor movement is beyond description for American job holders and laborers in general. Because of this movement, Americans now can enjoy many of the most basic benefits at their work, such as social security, weekend, lunch breaks, an eight-hour workday, and paid vacation. So, Americans ought to celebrate Labor Day and pay respect to all laborers.

Labor Day - Quick All Review

  • Time/Date: First Monday of September every year.
  • Category: Federal
  • Where It's Marked: United States
  • Why It's Marked: To observe the American labor movement and honor laborers who made the development of the United States possible.

History of Labor Day

If we start talking about the history of Labor Day, then we have to mention two debatable names: Peter J. McGuire and Matthew Maguire. The names are debatable because it is still unknown who, between Peter J. McGuire and Matthew Maguire, actually proposed to observe Labor Day as a holiday.

According to some historians, the holiday began on September 5, 1882, when Knights of Labor, one of the most important and largest American labor organizations at the time, held a public parade in New York City featuring various labor organizations with the support of the nascent Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York. In order to commemorate this effective public protest, CLU Secretary Matthew Maguire subsequently suggested that Labor Day be observed as a national holiday on the first Monday of September each year.

Another group of historians claims that it was Peter J. McGuire, vice president of the American Federation of Labor, who proposed a “general holiday for the laboring classes” to the CLU. The plan was to organize a street march of organized worker solidarity, followed by a picnic fundraising for local unions. McGuire proposed the first Monday in September as the appropriate date for Labor Day since it occurs between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving and has wonderful weather at that time of year.

However, recent research seems to support the claim that Matthew Maguire proposed the holiday in 1882.

Although New York was the first state to propose a bill, Oregon was the first to approve a statue honoring Labor Day on February 21, 1887. Four other states—New York, Colorado, Massachusetts, and New Jersey—enacted laws establishing the Labor Day holiday in 1887. By the end of the decade, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Nebraska had all adopted the same policy. By 1894, 23 more states had joined in on the celebration, and on June 28, 1894, Congress passed legislation declaring the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.

How to Celebrate Labor Day?

Labor Day gives us the opportunity to honor all the laborers in the past who made it possible for us to enjoy many job- and wage-related benefits so that we don't get exploited. This day is also an opportunity for us to honor the workforce of America who is taking America to new heights every time. 

So, here are some ideas for you to celebrate this year's Labor Day.

  • Participate in Labor Day concerts or parades organized by local communities. 
  • Learn more about the rich history of Labor Day so that you can really understand the cost that has been paid so that people can now enjoy benefits at their respective workplaces.
  • Show your support to workers who have to work on Labor Day too. For example, fire station staff, security guards, and hospital employees work on Labor Day. So you can cheer them up and express your gratitude to them simply by preparing some finger delicacies like baked cookies. 
  • Express your gratitude to your coworkers for their hard work. Also, if you have any housemaids, don't forget to thank them and give them a paid holiday.
  • You can also go on a picnic with your family to celebrate the holiday. That's a good chance to spend some time with your loved ones.
  • If you are not much into reading materials, then you can see a movie on labor union to get an idea of events and incidents that took place in the 1800s. 

Interesting Facts About Labor Day

In this section, let’s learn some facts and incidents related to Labor Day. We hope you will enjoy knowing them.

  • The first US Labor Day was planned by the Central Labor Union and celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. 
  • The first celebration was actually in the form of a parade, where between 10,000 to 20,000 male and female workers gave up their one day's pay and marched from City Hall all the way to 42nd Street. At noon, the march ended, and the participants joined their families, had picnics, listened to speeches, and drank beer, while other workers joined them.
  • Labor Day parade still takes place in New York City throughout the 20 blocks north of the 1882 labor march.
  • On June 28, 1894, it was decided that Labor Day would be celebrated on the first Monday of September.
  • Canada celebrated Labor Day before the US and was the first country to do so. It is believed that Canada came up with the concept of celebrating Labor Day. They organized a "Nine-Hour Movement" in 1872 to support striking workers.
  • Labor Day was first observed as a legal holiday in Oregon in 1887.
  • People still debate over who exactly suggested that Labor Day be a holiday. Some say it was proposed by machinist Matthew Maguire, while others believe that Peter J. McGuire, vice president of the American Federation of Labor, did it. 
  • In the nineteenth century, Americans worked 12-hour days, seven days a week! The Adamson Act, which established an 8-hour workday, was passed on September 3, 1916.
  • The phrase "no white after Labor Day," according to historians, originated when members of the upper class would return from their summer vacations and store away their airy, white summer clothes as they went back to school and work.
  • Labor Day was first observed as a part of the labor union movement to honor the achievements made by both men and women in the US workforce, but in modern times it has come to symbolize the conclusion of the summer weekend.

Labor Day Quotes

This Labor Day, use the following motivational Labor Day quotes to celebrate all your hard work and the efforts of those around you.

"It was working men and women who made the 20th century the American century. It was the labor movement that helped secure so much of what we take for granted today." - Barack Obama

"Without labor, nothing prospers." - Sophocles 

"Genius begins great works. Labor alone finishes them." - Joseph Joubert

"No human masterpiece has been created without great labor." - Andre Gide

"It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things." - Theodore Roosevelt

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." - Martin Luther King Jr.


1. Are May Day and US Labor Day the same?

There is a common misconception that Labor Day and May Day are the same holiday, although they are, in fact, separate holidays with distinct celebrations. In the United States, Labor Day is a federal holiday that recognizes the efforts of American workers and the American Labor Movement. On the other hand, May Day serves two purposes: honoring all the laborers and marking the beginning of summer.

2. Do Americans Observe International Labor Day?

International Labor Day, also known as May Day, is observed by workers all around the world . Even though May Day has its roots in the American laborers' struggle for a shorter workday, it isn't officially recognized in the USA. Labor Day is observed in both the US and Canada in September.

Labor Day Observances

Year Weekday Date Name Holiday Type
2022 Mon 05 Sep Labor Day Public
2023 Mon 04 Sep Labor Day Public
2024 Mon 02 Sep Labor Day Public
2025 Mon 01 Sep Labor Day Public
2026 Mon 07 Sep Labor Day Public

We constantly update the dates of holidays that keep changing every year. However, while we revise and change some dates to be accurate, if you find any errors, kindly inform us . That will mean a lot to us.

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