I found a short history of the origin of Labor Day at the U.S. Department of Labor website. There seems to be some question about who actually proposed the tradition, but it seems pretty clear that it was first put into practice in 1882 in New York City. Check out the story here.
From the DOL… “The vital force of labor added materially to the highest standard of living and the greatest production the world has ever known and has brought us closer to the realization of our traditional ideals of economic and political democracy. It is appropriate, therefore, that the nation pay tribute on Labor Day to the creator of so much of the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership — the American worker.”
Wishing all those who work, a satisfying day of rest.