CertMag Wishes You a Happy Labor Day
Posted on
September 3, 2018
How much do you know about the history of Labor Day in the United States? Would you like to know more?

Like many other workers in the United States, the members of the CertMag team are enjoying a day off from work in observance of Labor Day. We will return to our normal schedule and activities on Tuesday, Sept. 5. Until then, however, why not test your knowledge of Labor Day trivia with our short quiz?

1) Who was the first person to propose a U.S. national holiday honoring workers?

2) OK, but who really was the first person to propose a U.S. national holiday honoring workers?

3) Where was the first Labor Day holiday celebrated?

4) Which U.S. state was the first to institute a formal public Labor Day holiday?

5) So when did Congress finally get around to declaring a federal Labor Day holiday?

6) Where is the oldest Labor Day parade in America held?

7) Sure, that was easy, but where is second-oldest Labor Day parade held?

8) Was Woody Guthrie born on Labor Day?

9) Which U.S. states has the highest rate of participation in labor unions?

10) When did the United States formally adopt eight hours as the legal limit for hours worked in a single day?


1) Peter J. McGuire. Generally credited with being cofounder of the American Federation of Labor, as well as a key organizer of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, McGuire called on government officials in 1882 to declare a holiday in honor of those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

2) Matthew Maguire. A machinist and secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York, Maguire is believed by many historians to have been the actual first person to publicly call for, also in 1882, a national Labor Day holiday.

3) New York City. The aforementioned Central Labor Union of New York organized a Labor Day holiday celebration held Sept. 5, 1882, with a committee appointed in advance to plan both a labor demonstration and a picnic.

4) Oregon. On Feb. 21, 1887, Oregon blazed a Labor Day trail by declaring a public observance of Labor Day. Four other states, Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, followed suit that same year. Over the next seven years, 25 additional states also declared Labor Day holidays.

5) 1894. On June 28, 1894, Congress passed an act, signed by President Grover Cleveland, designating the first Monday in September as a national Labor Day holiday.

6) New York City. There has been a Labor Day parade in New York City every year since 1882.

7) Galesburg, Ill. The Galesburg parade has been held every year since 1891.

How much do you know about the history of Labor Day in the United States? Would you like to know more?

8) No. Legendary singer-songwriter and labor sympathizer Guthrie was actually born on Flag Day (July 14). Buddy Holly was born on Labor Day, though, on a rare Sept. 7 Labor Day (the latest calendar day on which Labor Day can fall).

9) New York. As of 2017, roughly 24 percent of all workers in New York belong to labor unions. The lowest rate of participation, 2.6 percent, is found in South Carolina.

10) 1916. Though an eight-hour workday had been proposed as early as the 1830s, it was not until passage of the Adamason Act that American adopted a federal law regulating the hours of workers in private companies.

About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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