Labor Day Weekend 2024: When and What Is It?

When is Labor Day 2024?

Labor Day 2024 is on Monday, September 2, 2024 (always celebrated on a Monday). Therefore Labor Day weekend—a popular time for celebrating the last hurrah of summer—begins on Saturday, August 31, 2024.

What is Labor Day?

In a country where we celebrate and honor many cultural and religious holidays, Labor Day is unique in that it celebrates American workers. Labor Day is a holiday dedicated to honoring the contributions US workers have made to the strength and prosperity of our country. Ahead, learn how this holiday came to be and get some ideas for how to celebrate Labor Day Weekend.

"What is Labor Day" illustrated image of women working hard.
Women working in the shipping and delivery office of a newspaper

History Of The Holiday

The first Labor Day was held on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City. The originator of this celebration was the Central Labor Union (CLU).

The creation of the holiday has been credited to two different people. Some historians believe Peter J. McGuire, the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor, first suggested a holiday to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.” Others credit Matthew Maguire, a machinist and, later, secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Patterson, New Jersey, as the creator. Many say he proposed the idea of a holiday to honor the working class when he was serving as secretary of the CLU in New York in 1882. What is agreed upon is that the CLU adopted a proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and a picnic.

Labor Day workers in an old black and white photo.

Following the deaths of workers during the Pullman Railroad Strike of 1894 in Chicago, and in an attempt to repair ties with American workers, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve legislation to make Labor Day a national holiday, making the official date the first Monday in September. President Grover Cleveland signed it into law six days after the end of the strike.

Labor Day vintage poster.


The first Labor Day holidays were celebrated with grand parades, picnics, and sometimes fireworks. Today, there are many different ways to celebrate, but is still a day set aside to appreciate the advancements, freedoms, and prosperity our country experiences, thanks to the hardworking individuals that make up our great country.

Related: Why Shouldn’t You Wear White After Labor Day?

Join The Discussion

What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate Labor Day Weekend?

Share your favorite recipes, parade memories, and more in the comments below!

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