For many people, Labor Day is looked at as the end of the traditional summer season (although summer doesn’t officially end until September 21). It is a time for great sales at the store, one more beach trip, one more cookout, etc.

Officially, Labor Day is a federal holiday celebrated in the United States on the first Monday in September. It honors all American workers who have made contributions to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country and also recognizes the labor movement. In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York. Labor Day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in NYC.  In 1887, the United States holiday was established in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored. Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday. President Grover Cleveland signed it into law only six days after the end of the strike.

Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. In 1894, by the time it became a federal holiday, 30 states officially celebrated Labor Day. The form for the celebration of Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal of the holiday: A street parade, to exhibit to the public “the strength and spirit of the trade and labor organizations”, followed by a festival for the workers and their families. This became the pattern for Labor Day celebrations. Later, speeches by prominent men and women were introduced as more emphasis was placed upon the civil significance of the holiday. Then, in 1909, the American Federation of Labor convention declared the Sunday preceding Labor Day was Labor Sunday and dedicated it to the spiritual and educational aspects of the Labor movement.

Today, all U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday. Canada’s Labor Day is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. More than 80 other countries celebrate International Worker’s Day on May 1 as their holiday dedicated to labor.

Though this holiday is supposed to be a day of rest and celebration from hard work, like every other holiday, retailers in the U.S. have made it become a major “sale” weekend. It is the 2nd largest sale/shopping date of the year, second only to Christmas season’s “Black Friday”. Ironically, because of the importance of this big sale weekend, instead of relaxing and having the day off to celebrate, many Americans who are employed in the retail sector not only work on Labor Day, but they work longer hours.

However you decide to spend your Labor Day weekend (whether it be resting, exercising, shopping, traveling, cooking out, or a little bit of it all), we at Bodyrich Fitness Company hope you have a safe and very happy holiday weekend!

Paula Jamieson

Bodyrich Fitness Company

Certified Personal Trainer / Fitness Nutritionist / Exercise Therapy Specialist

678-417-0880 ext. 8301 / info@bodyrich.com     www.bodyrichfitness.com



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