Whether Labor Day celebrates the resilience of trade and labor organizations or the contribution of the working force to the economy, it also marks the unofficial end of summer. How the holiday came into being is both a debatable thing and dates quite long back into the pages of history. The first Monday of September each year is celebrated as Labor Day and a few of the interesting things to know about this day have been jotted down here.

It’s the unofficial ending of the “eating season”!

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, the hot dog season unofficially ends on Labor Day. The season actively exists between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The Americans approximately consume about 7 billion hot dogs in this period. The National Hot Dog Month being July also falls within this period. About ten percent of the total year's hot dog sales take place during this month.

What’s more, hot dogs form the main course meal for most Americans on Independence Day! Did you know – take 150 million hot dogs (out of the total 7 billion) and it could form a line from Los Angeles to Washington D.C.?

It's been a federal holiday since the end of the 19th century

Apart from the holiday that is observed on the 1st of May, lawmakers in the US under President Cleveland’s leadership fought for a federal holiday to observe Labor rights. However, by the time Cleveland signed the act in 1894, establishing the first Monday of September as a federal holiday, most states had already enacted the law.

The 1882 event is often confused between two individuals

Mathew McGuire and Peter McGuire were respectively a machinist and a carpenter. In different works of literature, either of them is credited for being the man behind the 1882 parade. Their names being quite close to each other, they are often confused by historians. Linda Stinson in 2011, clearly acknowledged the confusion between the 2 names.

New York City celebrated the first Labor Day

On September 5th, 1882, the first official Labor Day was celebrated in New York City under the guidance of the Central Labor Union. As discussed earlier, 23 states had already adopted Labor Day as a holiday before, on June 28th, 1894, Cleveland signed the law (making the first Monday of September be the national holiday)!

Interestingly, the holidays that fall on Mondays in the US are – Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and so on – they give extended weekends to the people across America! Extended weekends remind us of the barbeque grills and other foods and snacks.

Which one’s the largest union today?

The biggest union in the US today is the National Education Association of the United States which currently has more than 3 million members – there are active, inactive, and lifetime members.


History beholds some famous events that eventually led to Labor Day coming into existence. The infamous riot of Haymarket in 1886 when several policemen and workers were killed; the famous march of September 5th, 1882, where 10,000 workers took off some unpaid time from their work to march in the New York City.

Perhaps, the Industrial Revolution in the United States which sparked off in the 1800s (during this period, an average American worker toiled 12 hours a day and 7 days per week) actually led to the creation of this federal holiday!

Labor Day indeed is not only a holiday but also an observance of the freedom from such slavery!