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Labor Day 2013: Fun Facts for the Holiday Weekend

What's the history of Labor Day? Find out here!


Written by Chris Mazzolini

In celebration of Labor Day on Sept. 3, here are five interesting facts about the holiday that celebrates all those who toil.

The information is from the U.S. Department of Labor.

1. Labor Day 101: The holiday, which is dedicated to celebrating the American worker, is celebrated the first Monday in September. It's been celebrated since Sept. 5, 1882.

2. Founder in Question: Who founded Labor Day? Well, that's a bit of a dispute. Some records point to a union guy named Peter J. McGuire, who was general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor.

He reportedly wanted a day to "honor those who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold." In other words, the American worker.

But recent research points to Matthew Maguire, a machinist and secretary of a local International Association of Machinists in New Jersey, proposed the holiday in 1882. A picnic and demonstration was reportedly planned to celebrate.

3. National Holiday: Labor Day received its first official recognition by local governments in 1885 and 1886, and it worked its way up through state legislatures. It was officially recognized by Congress in 1894.

4. Don't Wear White?: We've all heard about the old-school etiquette rule about not wearing white after Labor Day. So where the heck did it come from? It's hard to say, but this Time magazine article posits that it had to do with the well-heeled wearing white during their summer vacations and then changing back to dark colors for when they returned to the sooty, dusty city.  

What we say: Wear whatever the heck you want! Happy Labor Day!

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