Labor Day is a United States federal holiday that takes place on the first Monday in September. The holiday began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the "working man". It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a federal holiday by Act of Congress in 1894.
Labor Day has been celebrated on the first Monday in September in the United States since the 1880s. The form that the observance and celebration of Labor Day should take were outlined in the first proposal of the holiday â�� a street parade to exhibit to the public "the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations" of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. This became the pattern for the celebrations of Labor Day. Speeches by prominent men and women were introduced later, as more emphasis was placed upon the economic and civic significance of the holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor convention of 1909, the Sunday preceding Labor Day was adopted as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
Today Labor Day is often regarded simply as a day of rest and, compared to the May 1 Labor Day celebrations in most countries, parades, speeches or political demonstrations are more low-key, although especially in election years, events held by labor organizations often feature political themes and appearances by candidates for office. Forms of celebration include picnics, barbecues, fireworks displays, water sports, and public art events. Families with school-age children take it as the last chance to travel before the end of summer. Some teenagers and young adults view it as the last weekend for parties before returning to school. However, of late, schools have begun well before Labor Day, as early as the 24th of July in many urban districts, including Nashville and Atlanta. In addition, Labor Day marks the beginning of the season for the National Football League and NCAA College Football. The NCAA usually plays their first games the weekend of Labor day, with the NFL playing their first game the Thursday following Labor Day.
Labor Day traditions
Since 1966, the annual telethon of the Muscular Dystrophy Association has been held on Labor Day weekend. The telethon, hosted by Jerry Lewis, raises tens of millions of dollars each year to fund research and patient support programs for the various diseases grouped as muscular dystrophy.
Labor Day weekend also marked the annual running of the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway in Darlington, SC. The race was run at any time during the weekend from 1950-2002. In 2004, NASCAR began racing on Labor Day weekend at California Speedway in Fontana, CA.
Boomsday, one of the biggest fireworks displays in the Southeastern United States, has been held annually on Labor Day since 1986 in Knoxville, Tennessee; it attracts over 350,000 spectators.
Popular fashion etiquette dictates that white should not be worn after Labor Day. Originally it was white shoes that were tabooâ��white or "winter white" clothing was acceptable. The custom is fading: "Fashion magazines are jumping on this growing trend, calling people who 'dare' to wear white after Labor Day innovative, creative, and bold. Slowly but surely, white is beginning to break free from its box, and is becoming acceptable to wear whenever one pleases. This etiquette is comparable to the Canadian fashion rule against wearing green after Remembrance Day. In the world of western attire, it is similarly tradition to wear a straw cowboy hat until Labor Day. After Labor Day, the felt hat is worn until Memorial Day."