“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. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City by a workers’ union. The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take was 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. Labor Day is still celebrated in cities and towns across the United States with parades, picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays and other public gatherings.
Through the years the nation gave increasing emphasis to Labor Day. The first governmental recognition came through municipal ordinances passed during 1885 and 1886. From these, a movement developed to secure state legislation. The first state bill was introduced into the New York legislature, but the first to become law was passed by Oregon on February 21, 1887. During the year four more states — Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York — created the Labor Day holiday by legislative enactment. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania had followed suit. By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday in honor of workers, and on June 28 of that year, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.” ~United States Department of Labor
Labor Day has come to be celebrated by most Americans as the symbolic end of the summer. In high society, Labor Day is (or was) considered the last day of the year when it is fashionable to wear white.
In the United States, most school districts resume classes around the Labor Day holiday weekend. Most begin the week before, making Labor Day weekend the first three-day weekend of the school calendar.
Labor Day has become an important sale weekend for many retailers in the United States. Ironically, because of the importance of the sale weekend, some of those who are employed in the retail sector not only work on Labor Day, but work longer hours.
Even though the original emphasis and celebrations have changed over the past 100+ years, we at Barr’s Insurance want to thank the American Worker for their hard work and contribution to our communities and our nation.
In celebration and appreciation for the Barr’s Insurance Staff, our offices will be closed on Monday in observance of Labor Day. If you need to report a claim, you will find all of our companies’ claim numbers here.
Have a safe holiday!
Cheryl Pastor, Social Media Specialist