Spring Closed: Labor Day
September 3, 2012
Labor Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the first Monday in September.
The first Labor Day in the United States was observed on August 26, 1878, in Boston, by the Central Labor Union of New York, the nation's first integrated major trade union. It became a federal holiday in 1894, when, following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, President Grover Cleveland put reconciliation with the labor movement 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.
The September date was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers' Day on May 1st, because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would stir up negative emotions linked to the Haymarket Affair, a demonstration and unrest that took place on Tuesday May 4, 1886, at the Haymarket Square in Chicago that resulted in the deaths of eight police officers and an unknown number of civilians.