Labor Day is a time to sit back and relax with friends and family, and that’s all thanks to the Labor Movement that dates back to move than 100 years ago. While you’re enjoying the last of the nice weather (depending on where you live) kick back with some fun facts about how the holiday got started, courtesy of Do Something.
1. Americans used to work 12-hours, 7 days a week in the 19th century. These excruciating work conditions is why the labor movement started.
2. It wasn’t just adults who used to work, either. Children as young as 5 or 6 years old worked in factories and mills throughout the nation.
3. Thanks to the Adamson Act, the 8-hour work day came into effect Sept. 3, 1916.
4. New York City is the birthplace of Labor Day. The first one was celebrated Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882 after it was planned by the Central Labor Union. More than 10,000 marched from City Hall to 42nd Street and then enjoyed a picnic in Wendel’s Elm Park with their friends and families.
5. While it started in New York, Oregon was the first to celebrate Labor Day as a legal U.S. holiday in 1887.
6. Canada gets credit for inspiring the idea during the labor movement. They had a “Nine-Hour Movement” to support striking workers in 1872.
7. Who made it a national holiday in the U.S.? It depends who you ask. While some people claim it was Peter J. McGuire, cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, others say it was Matthew Maguire, a machinist.
8. Labor Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September since 1894.
9. Fashionistas have heard it’s a faux pas to wear white after Labor Day. This stems from the upper class ditching the white linen clothes, which were lightweight, they wore in the summer. TLC “What Not To Wear” host Stacey London has since deactivated that rule. Now, you can wear white whenever.