Labor Day was conceived as the day set aside in recognition of working people's contribution to society. It had been the brainchild of Peter J Mcguire, the radical founder of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of New York. On May 8 1882, he proposed to the New York City Central Labor Union, that the first Monday in September be set aside annually as a "labor day." In 1884, New York had designated that first Monday as a Labor Day and by 1887, Oregon and Colorado followed suit.
President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law on June 28 1894, that designated it as a national holiday. In 1909, a resolution adopted by the American Federation of Labor, designated the preceeding Sunday as Labor Sunday. That Sunday was dedicated to the spiritual and educational aspects of the labor movement.
May 1 is celebrated worldwide as a labor day and still hold parades, political demonstrations and speeches to celebrate the day set aside for the "working man." In the U S though, it is now commonly seen as the end of summer, the last weekend of parties or just simply as a day of rest.
Since 1966, one of the most prominent events in the U S is the annual telethon of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. From 1950 until 2003, the NASCAR Southern 500 had been traditionally held on Labor Day weekend in Darlington SC. Lastly, Labor Day had been seen as the traditional end to wearing white and a time to put away the straw cowboy hat and bring out the "winter" felt one. Those clothing trends have slowly been changing as people enjoy wearing whatever looks good, irregardless of the month it is.
While Labor day may have slipped towards being another large shopping event or a last weekend to have the big barbeque and party, it should be remembered why we celebrate it............. it is the day to celebrate all the hard work and various contributions that have been made by the common working person.