In 1894, Congress declared Labor Day a federal holiday. Then they recessed and everyone went out for barbeque.
No, not really.
When I was a kid, I didn't understand why a day, on which everyone didn't work, was called Labor Day. I thought they should have named it No-Labor Day or Labor-Free Day. Later, in History class, I learned the holiday was establish as a way to honor the laboring masses.
Since 1882, the first Monday in September has been observed as Labor Day. That was the day when the Central Labor Union of New York City established the holiday.
Over the decades, the day changed from a big public celebration of parades and speeches about the contributions of the working men and women to a more personal celebration involving family and friends that marked the symbolic end to summer, characterized by bargain sales, backyard barbeques, and kids going back-to-school the next day.
Honor the contributions of hardworking people in whatever way you choose. Have a happy Labor Day. Don't eat too much barbeque and potato salad. Remember, if you drink, don't drive. The life, career, and family you save may be your own. Get a designated driver.