Did you know that the first Labor Day parade took place in 1882 – a dozen years before the day became an official US holiday?
Or that the national hot dog season begins on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day, with approximately 7 billion wieners – or an incredible 818 per second – being consumed in between?
Those are just two of the fun facts about our national holiday that celebrates working men and women.
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12 Fun Labor Day Facts
Here is some Labor Day trivia, courtesy of Reader’s Digest:
- It’s unclear who came up with the idea of celebrating Labor Day. Historians say it was either Peter J. McGuire, an officer in the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, or Matthew Maguire, a machinist and executive with the Central Labor Union.
- New York’s Central Labor Union held the first parade in 1882. More than 10,000 union workers marched from City Hall, past Union Square and up to 42nd Street.
- Why you don’t wear white after Labor Day. “The tradition goes back to the end of the Civil War, when society was ruled by the wealthy wives of old-money elites,” according to Reader’s Digest. “As more new-money millionaires entered society, the jealous old regime invented a whole suite of arbitrary fashion rules that only those in the in-crowd would know. Anyone who showed up to an autumn dinner party in a white dress, for example, would be instantly outed as a nouveau riche newbie.”
- Oregon was the first state to recognize the holiday in 1887. Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York soon followed.
- It became a national holiday in 1894. President Grover Cleveland signed the legislation into law.
- Canada beat us to it. Labour Day was declared a Canadian holiday in 1872.
- Other countries have their own day honoring workers. It’s called May Day, celebrated on May 1.
- Labor Day marks the close of hot dog season. “During peak ‘hot dog season,’ which spans from Memorial Day to Labor Day, Americans gorge themselves on roughly 818 hot dogs every second (or 7 billion total),” according to Reader’s Digest.
- A three-day weekend is good for your health. “The science journal The Lancet found that people who work more than 55 hours per week had a 33 percent increased risk of stroke than people who worked less than 40 hours a week. People who work 40 hours or less every week also sleep better, pick fewer fights, and are generally more productive at work.”
- Top Labor Day vacation spots are Santa Barbara, California and Chatham, Massachusetts. Others are coastal South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia, according to Town & Country.
- Bacon Day precedes Labor Day. Yes, it’s really a thing. International Bacon Day falls on the Saturday before Labor Day every year.
- There are more than 160 million people in the US labor force. Happy Labor Day to each and every one!
Source: Reader’s Digest
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