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How did Labor Day start?

Today, as you know, is Labor Day. But it’s a day of rest and recreation for most people, the last fling before the fall. According to the U. S. Department of Labor, its origin goes back to 1882 in New York City when a demonstration and picnic held by the Central Labor Union. The credit for inventing the holiday generally goes to a machinist, Matthew Maguire, who was the secretary of the Central Labor Union at that time. The idea quickly spread and there already were similar celebrations in 23 of the nation’s 42 states by 1894. An act of Congress that year proclaimed the first Monday in September as a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the nation’s territories. Despite the intention of benefitting workers with a day off, many millions of Americans have to work on Labor Day to earn a living at retail stores, restaurants, enforcing the law, responding to emergencies, making the day happier for those who don’t have to work this day.


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