Labor day has grown through years

According to the United States Department of Labor website, what began as one New York labor union’s “workingmen’s holiday” has turned into a nationwide celebration held every September known as Labor Day.

The Department of Labor said the first proposal of the holiday from the Central Labor Union outlined a street parade showing the community “the strength and espirit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” with celebration continuing through a festival of recreation and relaxation for the American worker and their families.

The original Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882 in New York City as 10,000 workers of the Central Labor Union and their families paraded from City Hall to the review stands in Union Square and then uptown to 42nd Street, according to the Library of Congress website. A picnic, concert and various speeches followed in Wendel’s Elm Park after the march.

In 1887, Oregon passed the first legislation creating a Labor Day holiday.

Twenty-three states followed Oregon before the national government passed legislation in June 1894. The United States Congress passed an act announcing the first Monday in each September a legal holiday.

A shift in the character of the celebration has changed in recent years. The worker’s view of celebrating achievement and presenting grievances is no longer as prevalent.

The Library of Congress website said protests and union activities are declining, while the Monday celebration is more of a leisure holiday filled with “family picnics, sporting events, and summer’s last hurrah.”