On September 5, 1882 the first Labor Day parade was held in New York City. Twenty thousand workers marched in parade up Broadway. They carried banners that read “Labor Creates All Wealtg”, and “Eight Hours for Work; Eight Hours for Rest; Eight Hours for Recreation!” After the parade, there were picnics all around the city. Workers and celebrants ate Irish stew, homemade bread and apple pie. At night, fireworks were set off.
Within the next few years, the idea spread from coast to coast, and all states celebrated Labor Day. In 1894, Congress voted it a national holiday.
Today we celebrate Labor Day with a little less fanfare on the First Monday of September. Some cities have parades and community picnics. Many politicians “kick off” their political campaigns by holding rallies on the holiday. Most Americans consider Labor Day the end of the summer, and the beaches and other popular resort areas are packed with people enjoying one last three-day weekend.