There are so many National Holidays sometimes you just can’t keep up. From National Hot Dog Day to National Hiking Day and everywhere in between we seem to have a day for it all! After sifting through food days and animals days, though, you find the holidays that really mean the most to people across the country. One of these holidays is Labor Day.

For some it marks the end of summer and beginning of fall, but for others it marks a day of contributions and achievements by American workers. Sure we get to celebrate almost like the Fourth of July (think barbecues, parades, etc.) but we also have to think back on why it was essential.

Labor Day wasn’t always a nationally recognized holiday, but on September 5th, 1882, that all changed when 10,000 people marched for labor rights in the wake of grueling hours and unsafe working conditions. This march is considered the first ever Labor Day parade, and created a ripple effect. It wasn’t until a few more protests and walkouts that Labor Day became a full fledged holiday in several states. In 1894, Congress passed the act making Labor Day a national holiday to repair ties with the American Railroad Union, whose protest not only crippled railroad traffic nationwide, but resulted in the deaths of more than a dozen workers. To this day we are still not sure who the true founder of Labor Day was.

Thanks to courageous people all the way back then, there have been many real world changes to how labor is seen across the country. It is very important to have a day for blue collar workers, because our nation has been built from people just like you and me.