A three-day weekend is always appreciated, especially in the first hectic weeks of a new semester. It's easy to forget that Labor Day began with a widely popular law to create a national one-day celebration of the American worker during an earlier financial crisis--the severe economic depression known as the Panic of 1893. With the growth of labor unions in the late 19th century, New York was one of several states that had been celebrating Labor Day on the state or local level for years. In 1887 it was among the first to make it an official state holiday. Finally, in June 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed legislation making Labor Day a national holiday to be celebrated annually on the first Monday in September. The U.S. Department of Labor's web site has some interesting Labor Day "Pieces of History," including an account of the country's first Labor Day Parade, held in Manhattan.
Ernster, the Virtual Library Cat
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