Everyone knows that Labor Day is celebrated the first Monday of September, marking the last weekend of summer and the beginning of the school year. But how many people know the history of Labor Day?
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on a Tuesday in September of 1882. In 1884, the holiday was declared on the first Monday of the month, as it has been ever since. The Central Labor Union of New York, integral in the creation of the holiday began encouraging similar organizations in other industrial cities to also celebrate this “workingmen’s holiday.” By 1894, 23 other states had adopted the holiday to celebrate their working class, and in June of that year, Congress passed an act to make the day a legal holiday.
Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and co-founder of the American Federation of Labor may have been the first to suggest the concept of a Labor Day holiday. His intention was to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” And so each year, Americans mark Labor Day as an annual tribute to the social and economic achievements of the American worker who has carried the country from colonial times through the Industrial Revolution and to the present day.
Long Island is sometimes thought of as a “bedroom community” for the city – just a quiet suburb to a large, busy, and prosperous center of business. This Labor Day, we salute specifically the Long Island business community which has transformed this suburban island into a business center in it’s own right. From Northrop Grumman and the companies now occupying it’s space in Bethpage, the wineries of the East End, every restaurant, retailer and gift shop on the Island, the small businesses who serve and support each other and their neighbors, and every small company renting office space in commercial complexes to every large company with a space in Huntington, Melville or anywhere else on Long Island – we salute you and thank you for supporting the local economy and helping to develop Long Island into a center of commerce in its own right.
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