Have Labor Day Off? Thank James Kyle From South Dakota
Labor Day is largely seen as a day off to have a barbeque, maybe enjoy a parade (in a pre-COVID world), or as a sign that football season is about to start. Others take the day off and just lounge.
Whatever you do with your time off from work on Labor Day, thank James Kyle.
Many South Dakotans have never heard of James Kyle, I hadn't until I did the research for this story, but just about every worker in the United States at some time has benefited from his work.
Senator James Kyle of South Dakota introduced a historic bill to the U.S. Senate on August 28, 1893. According to the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, Kyle's bill was to make Labor Day a legal national holiday on the first Monday of September each year. President Grover Cleveland signed the bill into law on June 28, 1894. The rest, as they say, is history.
According to the SDHSF, Kyle said labor organizations were asking for the first Monday of September to be singled out as a day off from work so all workers could enjoy vacation privileges on the same day.
Today Labor Day largely is seen as just another paid holiday, the unofficial end of summer, or a chance to save a few bucks on a Labor Day sale. But if you are lucky enough to have Labor Day off from work, take a second and thank James Kyle, the Senator from the fledging state of South Dakota who's bill helped to make all that happen.