Labor Day

History, holidays, Manhattan

In 1882, Labor Day originated with a parade held in NYC

By Emily Nonko, Mon, September 4, 2017

labor day, first labor day, labor day parade, new york city

An illustration of the first Labor Day parade, via Wiki Commons

Though Labor Day has been embraced as a national holiday–albeit one many Americans don’t know the history of–it originated right here in New York City. The holiday is a result of the city’s labor unions fighting for worker’s rights throughout the 1800’s. The event was first observed, unofficially, on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882, with thousands marching from City Hall up to Union Square. At the time, the New York Times considered the event to be unremarkable. But 135 years later, we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday of every September as a tribute to all American workers. It’s also a good opportunity to recognize the hard-won accomplishments of New York unions to secure a better workplace for us today.

Keep reading for the full history

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