We all know Labor Day became a federal holiday in 1894, as Grover Cleveland attempted to ease tension with organized labor following the Pullman Strike.
And today we associate the holiday with a variety of cultural norms: a day out of the office, the end of summer, don’t wear white after it, football season starts, and back to school sales.
But did you know one of those norms is a bit more manufactured than the others? In the 1980s, Kings Dominion, the amusement park giant, successfully lobbied for laws requiring the first day of school be after Labor Day. This gave families another weekend to visit amusement parks and kept more teenagers available to work. Both providing huge impact to their bottom line. Solidifying a summer ritual for children across the country.
These laws were repealed in 2019.