Labor Day started in the 1880’s, when individual states began passing legislation to create a holiday to honor workers. In 1894, Congress made the first Monday in September a legal holiday, Labor Day.
Theodore Roosevelt’s Labor Day speech
In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt, Roosevelt Park’s namesake, gave a speech that linked the prosperity of laborers to the prosperity of the entire country. He said, “If circumstances are such that thrift, energy, industry, and forethought enable the farmer, the tiller of the soil, on the one hand, and the wage-worker on the other, to keep themselves, their wives, and their children in reasonable comfort, then the State is well off, and we can be assured that the other classes in the community will likewise prosper. On the other hand, if there is in the long run a lack of prosperity among the two classes named, then all other prosperity is sure to be more seeming than real.”