Nap in the hammock, have a barbecue or dive into the city swimming pool. Whatever you do, you are celebrating the last weekend of summer, though the calendar might disagree.
The path to this proclamation was not a simple one. Rather, it was marked with hard work and risk by labor leaders and many thousands of workers. While the work toward getting a labor day began years before, it was a celebration by the Knights of Labor in 1882 that brought the cause to the public’s attention. More than 20,000 demonstrators paraded in New York City. Many carried signs that said "8 hours for work, 8 hours for rest, 8 hours for recreation." In addition to a day of rest for workers, they paraded for better working conditions.
The Labor Day movement spread from East to West over the following years. In 1887, Colorado was the first state to declare Labor Day a state holiday. By 1893, more than half of the states had an official Labor Day. This year marks the 123rd celebration of Labor Day. After much ado for many years, President Grover Cleveland signed the Labor Day proclamation in 1894.