Labor Day is a time to appreciate the contributions of the working class and to honor how hard they work to help our country grow and prosper. Labor Day was first observed in 1882, during a time when many Americans worked long days in harsh and unsafe working environments for little money. These workers joined together to create unions, and on September 5, 1882, union workers in New York City took an unpaid day off in protest of their poor working conditions. Afterward, many of them stayed back to eat and enjoy the day off with their families–and that was the first Labor Day picnic! In 1894, Congress passed an act that made Labor Day a national holiday. And that’s why we celebrate today!