Have you ever wondered about the history of Labor Day. It’s not just the unofficial “last day of summer.” It’s a day for the working class to take a much needed reprieve from their labors. According to the US Department of Labor,

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.

The first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882 in New York City, and Grover Cleveland declared it a national holiday in 1894. There is a little bit of controversy over who first proposed that the working class needed a day off. However, despite the dispute over who coined the idea, Labor Day has typically been a day for union workers to acknowledged for their contributions to the nation.

I hope that all of you hard-working readers enjoy your day off today (assuming, of course, that you’re not in retail or the service industry, and that you actually get a day off).

For more info on the history of Labor Day, check out this piece on NPR, or this article over at Wikipedia.