The first Monday in September, Labor Day, means so many different things to our country’s people.  For most of us it means the end of the summer and going back to school.  We usually celebrate with barbecue, fireworks, concerts, and parties. 

As we celebrate Labor Day, we thought we’d take a look at the history of this holiday. 

The Original Purpose

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”

The Founder

The credit for founding Labor Day is still under debate.  One choice is Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor.  Matthew Maguire, the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J., is the favorite contender based on recent research.

Labor Day Legislation

As with many national holidays, the celebration of Labor Day began in the individual states.  The first state bill was introduced into the New York Legislature, and the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887.  During that year four more states – Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York - created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment.  By 1894, 23 more states had adopted the holiday.  On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.

Dean and Draper

We invite you to take a moment to celebrate the history of this holiday while you spend time with your family and friends.  When you have questions about your insurance, we’re here with the answers.

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Sources:  U.S. Department of Labor,