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5 Unusual Labor Day Facts

Wanna wow your friends and family with your knowledge of Labor Day trivia?  Read on to learn some unusual facts about this federal holiday.

  1. Labor Day Was Initially Associated with Unions.  Back in 1882, the unions of NYC decided to hold a celebration for union members and to show support for unions everywhere.  They threw a parade that drew 20,000 attendees, plenty of whom were apparently big beer drinkers.

  2. For Many of Us, Labor Day Means Exactly That.  While we tend to associate picnics and four-day work weeks with Labor Day, that isn’t the case for many Americans.  Retail workers, for instance, tend to work long hours over Labor Day weekend, because that’s when retail stores offer deep discounts.

  3. Labor Day Is the Third Federal Holiday.  When Labor Day was instituted in 1882, workers got little time off.  While today we have 10 federal holidays, there were only two of them back then—Christmas and the 4th of July.  Workers also didn’t get weekends off like we do today.  Instead, they were only guaranteed a day off every other Sunday.

  4. An 84-Hour Work Week Wasn’t Uncommon.  Not only did workers have few federal holidays to look forward to in 1882, but they also had ridiculously long work weeks.  For instance, it wasn’t unusual to work 12-hour days, seven days a week.  Eight-hour work days didn’t become commonplace until the passage of the Adamson Act in 1916 which mandated them.

  5. Labor Day Weekend Is the Most Dangerous Weekend to Travel by Car.  Careful out there, folks.  According to highway accident statistics, the most accidents occur on Labor Day weekend.  It’s surmised that this is because teens and young adults view Labor Day weekend as the last one for partying before heading back to school.