Why We Celebrate Labor Day And Other Facts About The Holiday You Might Not Know
Happy Labor Day weekend, America.
The very first Labor Day in the country was celebrated in 1882, and it became an official federal holiday in 1894.
The holiday falls on the first Monday of September. The day typically celebrated with picnics and parades has more to it than that, though.
To mark the nation’s 139th Labor Day, here’s some trivia about the holiday you didn’t know you needed:
It was celebrated in a few states first before it became a federal holiday
Labor activists first started recognizing Labor Day before states started to unofficially celebrate it. New York was the first state to introduce a bill to write the holiday into state legislation. Oregon, though, became the first state to pass it into law in 1887. Colorado, Massachusetts and New York soon followed.
The first Labor Day celebration had a lot of beer
The first major Labor Day parade was held in Manhattan near city hall in 1882. Police were worried about a riot breaking out, so there was a large police presence in the area. The problem, though, was that almost no one showed up at first to actually march. Awkward.
Here’s what’s open (and closed) on Labor Day 2021
Summer doesn’t officially end until Sept. 22, but the wind down certainly kicks off on Labor Day. For many workers, it’s a chance to take a breather and brace for the rush to the end of the year, but for the second year in a row, it’s more complicated than most people would like.
If you do decide to host friends or family, you should be able to find materials for that barbecue easily enough. And if you prefer a day of solo home maintenance or upgrades, now that lumber is back at a reasonable price level, that shouldn’t be a problem either.
Some retailers are closed, though. And if you’re hoping to take care of some personal business when you’re off work, you may have a hard time.
Here’s a look at who’s open and closed on Labor Day 2021, plus a few informational nuggets about the holiday.
What is Labor Day?
Labor Day, held on the first Monday of September, honors the U.S. labor movement. The day has been an official federal holiday since 1894.
Are banks open on Labor Day?
No, they’re not. Because Labor Day is a federal holiday, banks will be closed. You can, however, still use ATM machines to get cash or put money into your account.
Will there be any mail delivery on Labor Day?
Don’t expect any mail or packages to arrive. The U.S. Postal Service does not operate on Labor Day. UPS has no pickup or delivery service that day—and all UPS store locations are closed. (UPS Express Critical service is available, though.) FedEx will suspend deliveries as well and FedEx Office stores will have modified hours. Be sure to call before you head there—and keep in mind that any packages you drop off won’t go out until Tuesday.
Is the stock market open on Labor Day?
The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, and bond markets are all closed. They’ll reopen on Tuesday.
Are government offices open on Labor Day?
City, county, state, and federal offices are closed.
Which department stores are closed on Labor Day?
Most major retailers are open on Labor Day, often offering notable discounts as they clear out summer merchandise at a discount. Costco, though, is the exception to this rule, opting to give its employees the day off. Small businesses could be closed as well, as staffing crises continue to be widespread. [Can we add a beat of elaboration about these crises and ideally link to a story that describes them?]
Are liquor stores open on Labor Day?
It depends on where you live. Because liquor sales and distribution are controlled by the state in about half the country, those stores are required to be closed.
However, that doesn’t apply in the following states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington D.C., and Wisconsin.
Check with your local store to see if they’ll be open there.
Which restaurants are closed on Labor Day?
Like most retailers, restaurants generally stay open on Labor Day, though be sure to call ahead, since some places may not have sufficient staff to remain open. Chick-Fil-A will have reduced hours, closing at 6 p.m.
Which department stores are open on Labor Day?
- Bass Pro Shops- Open on Labor Day
- Bed Bath & Beyond – Open on Labor Day
- Belk – Open on Labor Day
- Best Buy – Open on Labor Day
- Cabella’s – Open on Labor Day
- CVS – Open on Labor Day
- Dillards – Open on Labor Day
- Home Depot – Open on Labor Day
- Ikea – Open on Labor Day
- J.C. Penney – Open on Labor Day
- Kmart – Open on Labor Day
- Kohl’s – Most store are open.
- Lowe’s – Open on Labor Day
- Macy’s – Open on Labor Day
- Michael’s – Open on Labor Day
- Old Navy – Open on Labor Day
- Rite Aid – Open on Labor Day
- Target – Open on Labor Day
- T.J. Maxx – Open on Labor Day
- Walgreens – Open on Labor Day (Some pharmacies may have reduced hours, however)
- Walmart – Open on Labor Day.
Which grocery stores are open on Labor Day?
Labor Day, for many celebrants, revolves around cookouts and day drinking. If you run out of hot dog buns, ketchup or beer, you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting more. It’s worth noting, however, that even if a store is listed below as open, it’s wise to check with them to make sure they don’t have reduced hours.
- Aldi – Open on Labor Day.
- Bi-Lo – Open on Labor Day.
- Food Lion – Open on Labor Day
- Harris Teeter – Open on Labor Day
- Ingles – Open on Labor Day
- Kroger – Open on Labor Day
- Publix – Open on Labor Day.
- Safeway – Open on Labor Day
- ShopRite – Open on Labor Day
- Stop and Shop – Open on Labor Day
- Trader Joe’s – Open on Labor Day
- Wegman’s – Open on Labor Day
- Whole Foods – Open on Labor Day
- Winn-Dixie – Open on Labor Day
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Naperville Honoring Frontline Workers At Edwards Hospital During Labor Day Parade
Frontline workers from Edwards Hospital will be the grand marshals at Naperville’s Labor Day Parade.
The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Naperville North High School and goes to Naperville Central High School/
Residents are invited to gather along the route and social distancing advised.
It’s all part of Naperville’s “Last Fling” weekend, ending Monday with a block party along Jackson Avenue, downtown.
Annual Labor Day Parade set for Monday morning
The 37th annual Rock Island Labor Day Parade will begin at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 6.
More than 120 entries have registered for the parade with the theme “Joy and Peace to the World.” It will include a musical showcase with 12 bands and drill teams. This includes five marching bands, five flatbed bands and one special drill team.
Marching bands from St. Ambrose University, Rock Island High School, Moline High School, and Rockridge High School will be included. Flatbed bands will include the Big River Brass Band, the John Mueller Band, Lyle Harris on acoustic guitar, the Sheltered Reality drum group, and Phyllis and One Shark.
The Black Hawk Pipes and Drums and the MetroSteppers from the Martin Luther King Center’s Metropolitan Youth Program also have returned to the parade line-up.
The parade will start near Washington Junior High School at 18th Avenue and 33rd Street. The route travels west along 18th Avenue, turns south at 24th Street, then west on 25th Avenue, and disbands into the Rock Island High School parking lots. Several businesses along the route will offer food and drink for parade spectators.
Celebrating workers, unions and an opportunity for a sustainable future this Labor Day
For many working Americans, Labor Day feels different this year. We’re in our second year of a pandemic that has placed even more pressure on families. The continuing instability in many parts of our economy, the growing national reckoning over racial justice and the disastrous effects of climate change which have brought us unprecedented wildfires, droughts and flooding have all converged on a moment that feels stark and pivotal.
In the face of these challenges, however, there also lives an opportunity. To do a reset. To craft the America of tomorrow by righting the policies of yesterday. To create sustainable communities, jobs and environment.
We have that opportunity right now in the auto industry as we transition from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles. This is a necessary shift, and one our union supports. Auto workers — like all Americans — want a country and a world where our children and communities can thrive. Electric vehicles are one of the critical ways to achieve that.
Why most Americans no longer honor unions on Labor Day
Labor Day was once the nation’s most blatantly political national holiday — created by the trade-union movement to celebrate the right of working people to bargain collectively and to stage strikes to press their demands. But no more, for good reason.
Even before Congress created the federal holiday in 1894, New York hosted the nation’s first Labor Day parade as 10,000 workers took off from their jobs to march from City Hall to Union Square. As the movement grew, so did the parades and celebrations.
How times have changed. Today, Labor Day is largely an occasion for sales, end-of-summer cookouts and back-to-school preparations. Why? Because the movement has become as irrelevant to most Americans as the medieval guilds that preceded it — and all too often a protector of privileges rather than a force for the oppressed.