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When did Labor Day become a holiday?

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Labor Day

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

The first Labor Day holiday occurred on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, based on the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.

In 1884, the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885, Labor Day celebrations occurred in many industrial centers around the country.

The first government recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal federal holiday. The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday-- a street parade to exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families.

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The short link for this FAQ is http://1.usa.gov/mTEgpQ


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