Labor Day: most think of it as the end of summer, a chance to kick back with friends and family and enjoy a cookout. You might even catch a few great sales at the mall. Here in Central Illinois this may be one of our last opportunities to enjoy swimming and other varieties of summertime relaxation. Today some of us went to the annual parade in Downtown Bloomington.
But how much do you know about what we’re actually celebrating? Spend a few moments taking in some facts about this holiday’s history (source: US Department of Labor):
- The purpose of Labor Day is to honor and celebrate the gains of the labor movement, a loose coalition of unions that began acquiring more rights for workers in the 1800s. They championed issues like shorter workweeks and higher wages. Today we can thank them for policies like minimum wage and a 40-hour workweek.
- The holiday evolved over time. As the labor movement gained momentum, unions began marching parades, hosting picnics and celebrating their progress.
- The first major Labor Day celebration was a parade and picnic in New York City on September 5, 1882.
- The New York celebration gained national attention. Soon unions across the country were hosting similar celebrations celebrating workers at the beginning of fall each year.
- Individual states began recognizing Labor Day first, and its popularity grew nation-wide. Finally, in 1894, Congress recognized the first Monday of September each year as a national holiday.
As we celebrate this year, we’d like to thank all of our employees for all they have contributed to us, our client companies and the community as a whole. Let’s have fun, be safe and remember why we celebrate.