On Labor Day 1940, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wrote that for all citizens, “Labor Day must be one of the most significant days on our calendar. On this day we should think with pride of the growing place which the worker is taking in this country … That is as it should be in a democracy.”
Labor Day, the first Monday in September, was created as a result of the Labor Movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers–men and women. Every year, the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country are commemorated.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.
As Labor Day draws near let us all take time to reflect on the hard work that countless women– mothers, daughters, aunts, and grandmothers, have dedicated to our nation.