BAYONNE, NJ-  Traditionally recognized the first Monday of September, Labor Day, was created by the labor movement and is, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers.

While New York's was the first legislature to introduce a bill to formally recognize the day, Oregon, on February 21, 1887 became the first to pass it into law. Later that year, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, and Massachusetts followed suit by also creating the Labor Day holiday. By 1894, 23 more states had adopted it, and Congress later passed an act, signed by President Grover Cleveland, a New Jersey native, making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday.

More than a century after the first Labor Day observances, there is still some debate as to who first proposed the holiday. Many credit Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), as the first to suggest a day to honor those "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold."

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However, others contend that Matthew Maguire, the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, NJ, proposed the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union in New York. The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 1882, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union, which urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday."

On Sunday, elected officials, labor leaders, and members of the community commemorated Labor Day by participating in the annual American Labor Museum/Botto House National Landmark parade which marched from Haledon to the Great Falls in Paterson.

In a Facebook post following the event Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh said that the "Paterson played a pivotal role in securing an eight hour work day, addressing unfair labor practices, and improving working conditions," and that he "proudly participated in the Labor Day Parade.

"Over the generations Bayonne has become known for its neighborhoods shaped by the working men and women that call it home, and that is still very much the case," said Mayor Jimmy Davis in a message emailed to residents last week. "While the jobs may have changed, the desire to go out and earn an honest day's pay, to provide for family, and to still find time to serve the community, has not wavered. With Labor Day approaching on Monday I know that I will take a few minutes to stop and reflect on what the holiday truly is about, and hope that you will as well."