Labor Day is coming up September 4, 2017, but do you know how the holiday started? The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in 1882 when the union groups of New York City decided to have a parade to celebrate the strength of their unions and their contributions to the American economy and society. Over 10,000 people participated, but the workers had to give up a day’s pay to attend. Good thing there was a lot of beer involved to keep everyone happy! More and more states began their own Labor Day traditions until the occasion was made a federal holiday in 1894.
In the 19th Century, Americans worked 12-hour days, 7 days a week except for Christmas, July 4th and every other Sunday. Back then, pay was $1.25 – $1.50/day for unskilled labor and double that for skilled labor. However, women and children earned much less. Can you imagine working those long hours for such little pay? No wonder the Labor Day holiday was started!
Other fun facts about Labor Day:
- Americans consume over 7 billion hot dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894 after 30 states had already instituted the holiday.
- The idea that you can’t wear white after Labor Day originated from the upper class, who saw it as a time to put away their lighter colored clothing because summer was ending.
- Labor Day weekend is considered one of the busiest weekends to travel – and most people will be traveling by car.
- Other countries celebrate their version of Labor Day on May 1, or May Day.
- Thousands of moms will go into labor on Labor Day resulting in over 10,000 babies being born, according to the CDC.
- The first Waffle House opened on Labor Day in 1955.
And, did you know that the Saturday before Labor Day is International Bacon Day? So, we celebrate two holidays the first weekend of September. Most importantly, the bacon holiday’s motto is, “bacon is a vegetable.”
We at UNEX want to celebrate all of our extraordinary employees for their commitment to excellence and hard work in delivering quality solutions to our customers.