Monday, Sep. 05, 2011

Labor Day's Origins Are Canadian

Labor Day is now a quintessentially American holiday, but its origins actually lie with our neighbors up north. Following labor disputes in Toronto, the first worker parades occurred in 1872. Soon after, anti–labor union laws were repealed. A decade later, union activist Peter McGuire, whom some call the founder of our American Labor Day, spoke at a Canadian labor festival in 1882 and was so impressed that he proposed the idea of a workers' national holiday to a New York labor union later that same year. The rest, quite literally, is history. Looks like this is something for which we can't blame Canada, eh?