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10 Fun Facts about Labor Day and Why We Celebrate

By Rachael Weiss~ Publisher Union County Macaroni Kid August 29, 2022

For so many of us, Labor Day is just a day to gather with friends and family, grill-out and relax. Maybe we take in a parade, but otherwise, what's funny about Labor Day is that we don't really labor. But do you know why? 

According to history.com, "Labor Day pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers and is traditionally observed on the first Monday in September. It was created by the labor movement in the late 19th century and became a federal holiday in 1894." And, it was this unrest that has led to our need to celebrate with parades. The protest that ensued from the laborers in the 19th century gave birth to the modern-day Labor Day Parade.  

On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.  ~ History.com

Here are 10 more fun facts about Labor Day to share with your kids:

  1. Labor Day is ALWAYS the first Monday of September even though the first official Labor Day was actually celebrated on Tuesday September 5, 1882 in New York City
  2. There’s some controversy as to who started Labor Day. People debate between whether it  Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners OR it was Matthew Maguire a member of the International Association of Machinists. The controversy continues with no declared official winner. What we do know is that President Grover Cleveland signed it into law in 1894.  
  3. Labor Day came about more than two decades BEFORE the US Department of Labor Existed.
  4. Speaking of labor, did you know that thousands of expectant moms will go into labor on Labor Day - typically resulting in more than 10,000 babies being born, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  5. Labor Day is considered the end of hot dog season. According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans typically consume 7 billion hot dogs. That’s 818 hot dogs consumed every second during that time. 
  6. Labor Day also is considered by many to be the end of Summer - but that's not actually true. The First Day of Autumn is Thursday, September 22, 2022
  7. The average work day in the 19th century was 12 hours long, 7 days a week and sometimes children as young as 5 were working in factories!
  8. Labor has an official "mascot" or icon: Rosie the Riveter. But do you know why? Rosie the Riveter was used as a symbol of feminism and a morale booster for women working in factories during World War II. Artist J. Howard Miller designed the infamous Rosie the Riveter poster. She has stood the test of time as inspiration.
  9. Labor Day weekend is considered one of the busiest weekends to travel. AAA‘s says travel growth over this weekend has grown. Last year, over 35.5 million people hit the road, 85.8 % by car.   
  10. As recently as 10 years ago it was considered taboo to wear white after Labor Day (see point 6 above!) because it was *unofficially* the end of summer; however recent fashion trends show white pants and shoes all year long as being a la mode. 


So, the real question for you: how are you spending your Labor Day. Make sure to post plenty of pics and tag us at @mackid.union @mackid.fmrh or @mackidrebecca so we can share with the community. We want to see all of the fun you are having together as a family!