Labor Day isn't just about barbecues, recreation, big sales and waving good-bye to summer. Besides being a tribute to the working class, Labor Day is also wrapped up in fun facts ...
The Precedent: The first individual Labor Day was organized in 1882 by the Central Labor Union in New York City, with 10,000 laborers on parade.
Head Out on the Highway: The travel club AAA predicts 35 million Americans on the road this Labor Day, the most in five years.
Thanks/No Thanks: In the early years, Labor Day was used by workers to celebrate their achievements and to air grievances.
Big Mac Muddle: No one is absolutely positive whether the founder of Labor Day was Peter J. McGuire (of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners) or Matthew Maguire (of the Association of Machinists).
Making Good: When President Grover Cleveland signed the law declaring Labor Day an official nationwide holiday in 1894, he was keeping a campaign promise.
A Hard Day's Night: At the time of the first Labor Day in 1882, the average American worker worked 12-hour days seven days a week, and in some states children were still working in factories and mills.
Changing Times: Today, the average American worker in the private sector works 34.5 hours per week, according to the Bureau of labor statistics.
The Silver Screen: The most popular movie centered on Labor Day is Picnic (1955), which does not celebrate American labor so much as one hot day with William Holden and Kim Novak.
Yum: Speaking of picnics, traditional Labor Day foods include hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks and potato salad, with a mix of summer and fall veggies and Jell-O salad.
On the Job: Today, 156 million Americans age 16 and over are employed.
And every one of them deserves a day off. Happy Labor Day!
If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend. ~ Doug Larson
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