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Labor Day

Sep 07, 2020 by Eileen Adler

Labor Day is the first Monday in September honoring our laborers and workers. We can thank the trade unions, primarily the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who established a day to celebrate our workers, “workingmen’s holiday,” The first Labor Day parade was held in New York City in 1887 but it was the state of Oregon that made it an official public holiday. Many cite P. J. McGuire (1852-1906) who suggested his concept to highlight labor’s solidarity and strength, but others credit Matthew Maguire of Paterson, New Jersey, (1855-1917) was a secretary of the Central Labor Union, as the first person to propose the holiday. The day selected is half-way between the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed this designated day into law. (Same last name but the different spellings are correct.)


There are several federal holidays throughout the year that most states celebrate. In 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed. The other Monday holidays include:

Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Third Monday in February – President’s Day celebrating  

Third Monday in May - Memorial Day

Second Monday in October - Columbus Day

First Monday in July 4 – Independence Day

First Monday in September – Labor Day

Second Monday in October 14 – Columbus Day


Every fourth year, Inauguration Day, typically the third Monday in January becomes a federal holiday. Those holidays not on Mondays include New Year’s Day, always January 1st, Veterans Day falls on November 11, Thanksgiving is the fourth Thursday in November, and Christmas falls on December 25. When a holiday falls on a weekend day, it may be celebrated on the Friday before or the following Monday.