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Why Do We Even Celebrate Labor Day?

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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As I woke up on Labor Day I wondered if people really knew why we celebrate this federal holiday.


I then laid in bed wondering how many people even know why it was signed into law.
Staying true to my general way of being I  knew that my next step was to begin to dig. Herein are the results of my Labor Day research.
The first Labor Day holiday included a parade organized by trade unions. It was celebrated on September 5, 1882.
Participants in the 1960 Labor Day Parade
Oregon was the first to officially designate Labor Day as a holiday. However, New York held the first Labor Day rally.
[ctt template=”5″ link=”1PJv4″ via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]The act of making Labor Day a federal holiday was signed into law on June 28, 1894.[/ctt]
This holiday is often celebrated with BBQ and holiday shopping but it came out of a long battle of workers fighting for their rights.

[ctt template=”5″ link=”2frKa” via=”yes” nofollow=”yes”]The Labor Day holiday is “a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.” ~ U.S. Department of Labor [/ctt]

The Pullman Strike of 1894 preceded the United States Congress unanimous approval to make Labor Day a national holiday


The Pullman Strike was a Chicago based railroad strike. It disrupted railroad traffic from June to July of 1892. The Pullman workers went on strike in response to their treatment by the Pullman company. In response to the depression, Pullam cut wages. However, they did not reduce the rent that they were charging to workers and their families in the company town. When a peaceful group of workers went to Pullman to complain about the wages, 16-hour workdays and subpar living conditions he ordered them fired. Finally, a strike was born.

The strike would not come to an end until the United States Army and Marshals Service stepped in. President Cleveland gave the order. It did not go as planned. The federal troops and the strikers clashed violently. Communities became enraged and riots broke out. Time describes it as “one of the bloodiest strikes in U.S. history.”

President Cleveland’s popularity suffered. He would never be President again.


So here we are on the first Monday of September having read through a history lesson. I hope that you have learned something, I know I did.

Most people see the Labor Day holiday as an end of summer celebration.

However, I feel that it is important to finally understand that it is much more than that.

Now it is your turn. What are your thoughts?

Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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21 thoughts on “Why Do We Even Celebrate Labor Day?”

  1. Thank you so much for this post! On Friday afternoon I told my husband we needed to get our big flag out and put it up outside, and he was like, ‘What for?’ I had to explain this same thing to him. (Sigh.) Great post! 🙂

  2. Hi Elise,
    What a joy to be here again, hope you are doing well,
    This is really an educative post, indeed a timely one which gives lot of information about the Labor Day.
    The video speaks the history in nutshell, am sure the new generation may not be knowing this history.
    Sure, this post will give some light to them about those wonderful events.
    Keep sharing
    Have a great day
    Thanks for dropping by, I appreciate your valuable time on my page.
    Best regards,
    ~ Phil

  3. That’s really great article and very informative too. I really was not aware about these facts about labour day. Thanks for sharing such important information. I will share this information with my kids

  4. Erika Mohssen-Beyk

    Interesting, Elise 🙂
    I was thinking about as well what it means because in Europe we celebrate the first of May.
    Good to know and thank you for writing about

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.