10 Fun Facts About Labor Day
1) The first Labor Day parade was held in New York City in 1882. It was a colorful string of vehicles moving slowly down the street between sidewalks packed with people. Similar parades are now held daily in New York City at 5pm.
2) Some historians say Union leader Peter J. McGuire, co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, was the first person to propose a holiday celebrating workers. Other say it was steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, although his proposal was “Labor That Actually Shows up to Work on Time Day”
3) Some people originally wanted Labor Day to be celebrated on the socialist “May Day” International Workers’ Day holiday on May 1st. President Grover Cleveland decided against that, since most Americans already celebrated it as “Commie Punching Day”.
4) In 1887, Oregon became the first state to celebrate Labor Day as a legal holiday. Oregon is also home to Nike headquarters, which may explain why everyone kneels during their Labor Day parade.
5) Canadian Prime Minister John Thompson signed “Labour Day” into law in 1894, the same year Grover Cleveland declared it a national holiday in the United States. The US later invaded Canada in a brutal war to liberate the superfluous u from the the word. The conflict continues to this day, with America recently threatening nuclear weapons in response to a Canadian threat to require border-crossers to show “passpourts”.
6) In 1909, the American Federation of Labor declared the Sunday before Labor Day “Labor Sunday” – an opportunity to reflect on the spiritual and educational parts of the labor movement. It never caught on because it turned out to just be a scheme to raid the church’s art supply closet to make free “ON STRIKE!” signs.
7) Most fashion moguls say you can safely ignore that age-old myth that you shouldn’t wear white after Labor Day. But if Edna Mode tries to knife you in a dark alley on Labor Tuesday, you’re on your own.
A study by the American Automobile Association (AAA) shows that over 35 million Americans travel over Labor Day weekend. From my experience, all of them in front of me on that stretch of interstate where they close down two of the three lanes even though nobody’s out there working.
9) Labor Day is considered the “unofficial NFL season kickoff”, since 99.44% of the time, the NFL plays its first official season game the Thursday after. In Cleveland, 99.44% of the time, it’s known as “just wait ’til next year” day.
10) The National Hot Dog and Sausage Council says that between Memorial Day and Labor Day, 7 billion hot dogs will be eaten. None of them by someone who actually knows what’s in them.
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