More Than 150 Million Americans Celebrating Holiday

When it comes to Labor Day, most people only care about one thing – having a day off from work.

However, in case you enjoy interesting tidbits, here are some facts about the first Monday in September.

Labor Day is not just celebrated in the United States. Canada and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico also honor their working class with the day off. Even European countries celebrate the holiday, but they do it on May Day.

The first observance of Labor Day is considered to have taken place in New York City on Sept. 5, 1882. Some 10,000 workers gathered for a parade, which led to celebrations in other areas of the country in following years. Oregon was the first state to make Labor Day a holiday in 1887. In 1894, President Grover Cleveland designated the first Monday in September as a federal holiday. Cleveland took the idea of not working to heart so much he took four years off from running the country in-between two presidential terms.

One of the sad designations given to Labor Day is it represents the symbolic end of summer. For children, the holiday means back to school. Ironically, the day also means a return to the daily grind for school teachers. According to the U.S. Labor Department, for back-to-school shopping, there were 25,448 shoe stores, 28,128 family clothing stores and 7,093 children and infant clothing stores in 2011. For pen and paper, there were 8,144 office supply and stationery stores and 8,407 bookstores.

If you’re a fan of the pigskin, the holiday goes hand in hand with the return of football. Whether you prefer high school, college or the pros, the kickoff of the autumn sport will lead many to a sporting goods store. In 2011, there were 21,227 sporting goods stores in the U.S. Unfortunately for Bills fans, the Labor Department didn’t give any stats on how many places you can buy tissues if the team fails to make the playoffs once again.

Who are we celebrating with Labor Day? Altogether, more than 155 million people work in the U.S. in 2013, and can feel honored the first Monday of September.