Digital First: A Look at the History of Labor Day

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Many people mark Labor Day as the end of summer. They spend time with their families doing activities or going on vacation before the fall rolls in. But Labor Day is more than just the end of summer. The holiday is a celebration of American workers.


The origins of Labor Day date back to the 1880s, during a time when urban development was thriving. Even with the new levels of innovation, working conditions for the country’s working class were not good. That caused workers to band together to form labor unions to improve working conditions. The movement led to child labor laws, wage protection and public health laws.

According to History.com, one of the largest Labor Day events was on September 5, 1882. Ten thousand New Yorkers took paid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square, and it became the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.

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