Labor Day is being celebrated Monday, Sept. 2. Memorial Day was established as a federal holiday in 1971 by Congress and is held on the first Monday of September. Read a history of Labor Day here.
The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The union encouraged the development of a workingman's holiday and a number of states began setting a day aside. Parades and picnics or similar events were not uncommon in its early days; it is now seen as part of the last three-day weekend of the summer prior to the start of school in many localities. By some estimates, at least half the work force won't be relaxing — they'll be working or looking for work.
Massachusetts was among the first states to recognize Labor Day and the first to institute a minimum wage on June 4, 1912.
The fourth U.S secretary of labor, and the first woman to hold a Cabinet position, was Frances Perkins, born in Boston in 1880. Perkins, who attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, is considered the architect of the Social Security Act. The headquarters of the Department of Labor is named after her.
Federal, state and local offices; no mail delivery.
Banks; Wall Street
Public colleges and schools, most private schools
Most offices and businesses
BRTA is not running
Most retail outlets, groceries
Restaurants and bars, by choice
Heaviest Labor Day traffic on the Massachusetts Turnpike (I-90) is expected on Thursday and Friday westbound and Monday afternoon-evening eastbound. The Friday before Labor Day 2012 was the 10th busiest day on the Western Turnpike; commuters logged 350,531 transactions between Weston and the New York border. Motorists should also anticipate holiday weekend congestion to and from Cape Cod and points north.
To accommodate travel, MassDOT is suspending all road and bridge construction on major roadways from noon on Friday through start of normal business on Tuesday.
Sign up at the 511 Traveler Information Service to receive personalized travel information alerts via email, text or telephone. MassDOT as always reminds drivers to avoid using cell phones while driving. Call into the 511 service before departing.
A reminder that the Massachusetts Safe Driving Law bans texting while driving and cell phone use while driving by 16 and 17 year old drivers. Drivers are reminded to travel safely and avoid distracted driving such as using cell phones.
To save time, money and gas, motorists who have not yet done so are encouraged to join E-ZPass to avoid waiting in line at cash toll booths. Free coffee will be served at the 18 MassDOT service plazas from 10 Monday night through 5 Tuesday morning.
Vermont State Police will be conducting saturation patrols and DUI checkpoints through the weekend. On Friday morning, police stopped 16 vehicles, issued 12 tickets totaling $1,768 in fines and wrote 5 written warnings on Route 7. This weekend's traffic enforcement detail is part of the Governor's Highway Safety Holiday enforcement campaign.