NEW YORK CITY – For many, Labor Day means barbecues, boat rides and a day off work. But do young Americans know why we celebrate?
“I actually don’t know why we celebrate Labor Day,” Jeremy told Fox News
“I have no clue. I was wondering this the other day,” Elijah said. “Honestly, I think it’s just a day off work. I have no more info than that.”
Brianna said: “Something to do with America?”
DO YOUNG AMERICANS KNOW WHY WE CELEBRATE LABOR DAY?
On the first Monday of every September, Americans enjoy a long weekend marking the unofficial end of summer to celebrate American workers. A national holiday since 1894, Labor Day honors the U.S. labor movement and recognizes the many contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity and well-being of America.
However, some people Fox News spoke with don’t know exactly what the holiday represents.
“We as Americans celebrate Labor Day because if we didn’t work, we wouldn’t have the money to pay for all of this,” Joey told Fox News. “It’s why we live, why we breathe, why we experience culture as it is.”
Azme said: “I know, like, it’s, you know, for the working people.”
“You should never wear white after Labor Day,” Noa said.
The push to recognize American laborers dates back to the 1880s, at a time when working conditions were often unsafe and people were overworked. Increasingly popular labor unions began to organize in protest and fight for reform. The first Labor Day parade was in 1882, when 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march in New York City, according to History.com.
While some may have forgotten the holiday’s origins, others had a slightly better understanding of why we celebrate Labor Day.
“Labor Day is the day in which you remember all the people that fought for the rights of working people like myself,” Anika said. “Basically, it’s a day — I think it’s during the Industrial Revolution — people basically fought and demonstrated for their rights.”
Remeta said it’s a day to “celebrate the struggle and everything the workers do to contribute to the country to be so great.”
Fox News’ Isabelle McDonnell contributed to this report