The History of Labor Day Many years ago, I read an article discussing whether 9/11 should be an American holiday and, if so, how it should be celebrated. The article discussed how tragic of a day it was for our country, but the author ultimately concluded that he did not think 9/11 should be a day that people have off of work. His reasoning was that people need to remember the tragedy our country suffered, but he worried that a holiday would result in festivals, sales and parties. Surely 9/11 should not remembered by throwing a party or memorialized by sidewalk sales. As I was reading the article, I thought about how few people, myself included, actually understand the significance behind many of our country’s holidays. Sure, Independence Day is obvious, but how many people could give a complete history of why we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco De Mayo, or Halloween? As I thought about Labor Day, I figured it was a holiday for our country’s laborers, but could not give much more information. The United States Department of Labor states that Labor Day was first recognized by the government in 1885. The day was set aside to celebrate the economic achievements of American workers and acts as a tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of our country. Well over a century after the first observance of Labor Day, it is still uncertain who first proposed the holiday. The Department of Labor’s website states that some records credit Peter J. McGuire, who was the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. Mr. McGuire is quoted as saying that the day was created to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” However, many others credit Matthew Maguire, a machinist, as founding the holiday. These individuals argue that Matthew McGuire proposed the idea in 1882, while serving as the secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. These individuals allege that the first Labor Day celebration occurred on September 5, 1882 in New York City, shortly after Matthew McGuire’s proposal. The holiday was celebrated as the working class holiday and the idea spread with the growth of labor organizations. Regardless of which McGuire actually came up with the idea for Labor Day, I hope all of our readers learned something and enjoy a safe and relaxing Labor Day with their friends and family.