The first-ever Labor Day parade

It happened in September 1882 (on a Tuesday, actually); thousands of workers marched from Fifth Avenue to Union Square, where picnics, fireworks, and rallies were held, all in support of an 8-hour workday. 

Beginning in 1894, the first Monday of September was designated “National Labor Day,” a date set by President Grover Cleveland.  

Labor Day weekend didn’t always mean last chance for a summer beach vacation; an annual parade occurred in the city every year for decades, and thousands of New Yorkers marched or came out in support. The parade was cancelled several times in the 1980s, then called off again in 2002 in honor of the victims of September 11.

Last year’s parade was KO’d as well, its popularity eclipsed in part by the massive West Indian Day parade in Brooklyn held the same weekend.

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4 Responses to “The first-ever Labor Day parade”

  1. webdrops Says:

    this is an interesting peace of information… thanks for sharing… here i have also written a blog post on labor day history and trivia… thought this might interest you

  2. Wigstock: New York’s other Labor Day tradition « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] New York’s other Labor Day tradition By wildnewyork The first Labor Day parade was held in September 1882; thousands of workers marched and rallied for better workplace […]

  3. … but I digress Says:

    […] The First Ever Labor Day Parade […]

  4. A bomb goes off at a Union Square rally in 1908 | Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Labor Day parades, rallies in favor of birth control and suffrage—Union Square in the late 19th and early 20th centuries was ground zero for demonstrations that advocated progressive causes and reform. […]

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