May 29, 1943
Oregon was the first state to pass a law recognizing Labor Day on Feb. 21,
1887. During the following year, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey and
New York all made Labor Day a holiday.
According to the US Department of Labor, 23 other states made Labor Day
a holiday by 1894. Then, on June 28, 1894, Congress made the first Monday
in September a legal holiday.
Legend has it that Peter McGuire, who founded the United Brotherhood of
Carpenters in 1881, was the one who actually invented Labor Day.
But recent evidence shows Matthew Maguire, who led several strikes in the
1870s and was considered to be fairly radical in his political beliefs, is actually
the man who should get the credit.
The day was originally designed to be celebrated with parades, festivals and
recreation to honor the American worker. The politicians and speeches came