Today in labor history: New York’s first Labor Day parade

On this date in 1882, the first Labor Day holiday was celebrated in New York City, in the form of the Labor Day Parade, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union.

The Sept. 5, 1882 parade had nearly 30,000 marchers, who demanded fair working conditions, including the eight-hour work day.

Similar organizations in other cities were urged to have parades as well, in order to show their solidarity with U.S. workers and celebrate a “working man’s holiday.” The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and eventually the first Monday in September was selected as the official holiday.

Photo: The first Labor Day parade in Union Square, New York City.   Wikipedia



Special to
Special to is a daily news website of, for and by the 99% and the direct descendant of the Daily Worker. Published by Long View Publishing Co., People’s World reports on the movements for jobs, peace, equality, democracy, civil rights and liberties, labor, immigrant, LGBT and women’s rights, protection of the environment, and more.