The Past and Present of Labor Day

America’s labor unions raised the nation’s standard of living and contributed to the greatest production the world has ever known and the labor movement has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pays tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership – the American worker. From the U.S. Department of Labor

Pittsburgh’s Labor Day Parade is one of the largest and oldest in America, according to the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council. Pittsburgh prides itself on its unique footprint that has helped pave the way in workers’ rights and the Labor Movement throughout the years, and its Labor Day Parade, though canceled for 2021, still walks on with its vibrant history and other activities to check out for this year.

Every first Monday in September, Labor Day has become an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers, and Pittsburgh has pioneered its own take on the festivities. The first Labor Day Parade was on September 5, 1882, in New York City. To create its solidarity, and tradition for Western PA and beyond, Pittsburgh is intertwined with more than 134 years of Labor Day history and has been hosting the largest participating Labor Day parade in the U.S. for the past 39 years. To learn more about Pittsburgh’s Labor Day Parade history, read more here.

In becoming a nationwide holiday, Labor Day had been adopted by 23 states by 1894, and on June 28, 1894, President Grover Cleveland signed a law making the first Monday in September of each year a national holiday. To learn more about the nation’s Labor Day history, read more here.

Today, the tradition of Labor Day still lives on with a continued Weekend of Service thanks to the Allegheny-Fayette Central Labor Council. This year, they will be out in the community with the Pittsburgh Penguins and American Red Cross with a blood drive on Friday, September 3, 2021. Follow @AlleghenyLabor on Twitter to stay up to date on their announcements for the Weekend of Service details.

Also, Visit Pittsburgh has the ultimate Labor Day weekend guide to enjoy the three-day weekend around Pittsburgh’s three rivers. From free concerts, food festivals to special events, and more, Local 2 members, family, and friends can still participate in parades in Erie, PA, or Paden City, WV. Local 2 waits in great anticipation for next year’s Pittsburgh Labor Day parade.


109 Pleasant Dr. STE 200
Aliquippa, PA 15001

P: 724-378-9735 
F: 724-378-7050


Sign up to receive the latest news and trends from our organization.

More questions? Get in touch