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Labor Day will be celebrated September 4th this year. The first Labor Day in the United States was celebrated on September 5, 1882 in New York City. In the aftermath of the deaths of a

number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the 1894 Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with Labor as a top political priority. Fearing further conflict, legislation making Labor Day a national holiday was rushed through Congress unanimously and signed into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.

Cleveland was also concerned that aligning an American labor holiday with existing international May Day celebrations would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair. By the 1900’s, all 50 U.S. States had made Labor Day a state
holiday. Still later, by a resolution of the American Federation of Labor
Convention of 1909, the Sunday proceeding Labor Day was adopted
as Labor Sunday and dedicated to the spiritual and educational
aspects of the labor movement.

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