Held annually on the first Monday of September, Labor Day is a federal holiday in the United States that’s intended to recognize and celebrate the country’s workforce. Similar to other federal holidays, government workers are given the day off. Even if you work for a private company, you may find that it’s closed on Labor Day as well. Below are five fun facts about Labor Day in the United States, some of which may surprise you.
#1) The Founder Remains Unknown
While Labor Day is a common and popular holiday in the United States, its founder remains unknown. There are a few plausible theories regarding who started it. One theory is that Peter McGuire of the American Federation of Labor started Labor Day, while another theory suggests that Matthew Maguire of the Central Labor Union started it.
#2) It’s an Official Flag-Flying Holiday
Labor Day is considered an official flag-flying holiday. While the U.S. Flag Code recommends flying the American Flag on all days, it specifically lists certain days for displaying the American flag. See the full list of American flag holidays. There are over a dozen official flag-flying holidays, one of which is Labor Day. Therefore, you should display the American flag in front of your home or business on the first Monday of September. It’s an easy and fulfilling way to participate in Labor Day celebrations.
#3) Began in the Late 1800s
Although its founder remains unknown, some of the first official Labor Day celebrations began in the late 1800s. In 1882, New York City held an event on the first Monday of September to celebrate the nation’s workers. In the years to follow, other places throughout the United States began to celebrate Labor Day. Since then, Labor Day has become recognized as an official federal holiday.
#4) Unofficial End of Summer
Another fun fact about Labor Day is that it’s considered the official end of the summer season. School systems in the United States often base their classes around this federal holiday. Some schools start classes immediately before Labor Day, whereas others start them the week after Labor Day. Regardless, Labor Day marks the unofficial end of the summer season.
#5) Celebrated In Other Countries
Labor Day isn’t celebrated exclusively in the United States. Other countries celebrate it as well. Canada, for instance, recognizes the first Monday of September as Labor Day. In other countries, International Workers’ Day is used as their version of Labor Day.