Labor Day & Freemasonry: Is There a Connection? - Revisit

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Robert H. Johnson, PM

First Labor Day Parade, NYC, 1882

*Editors note: This piece originally was published in 2013. I hope you enjoy and learn a little history in the process!

Labor Day, the very idea of the holiday invokes the excitement of barbeques, back to school for our children and the end of summer. Labor Day is now marked by the first Monday in September, but the first labor day was actually on a Tuesday, Tuesday September 5th 1882 to be exact. It was celebrated for the first time in New York City and was organized by the Central Labor Union.

So who started Labor Day? Well, the answer can not be definitively answered. There are two men
who are credited with its creation. Peter McGuire and Mathew Maguire were both labor leaders and worked for the rights of workers. Peter was a carpenter and Mathew a machinist.

Many people ask whether either of these two men were members of our great fraternity, the Freemasons. Of these two men, Peter McGuire was a member of a Brotherhood. It just wasn't the Freemasons. He belonged to the Brotherhood of Carpenters and was quoted as saying something which to me, sounds Masonic in nature...

[There needs to be a day to celebrate those] "who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold"

However promising this sounds, neither Peter nor Mathew have any record of being involved or affiliated with the Freemasons.

To find out more and view some truly astonishing photographs related to Labor Day, please visit the United States Department of Labor's website all about Labor Day.

Have a happy and safe Labor Day!


RWB Johnson is a Co-Managing Editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Freemason out of the 2nd N.E. District of Illinois. He currently serves as the Secretary of Spes Novum Lodge No. 1183. He is a Past Master of Waukegan Lodge 78 and a Past District Deputy Grand Master for the 1st N.E. District of Illinois. He is the current V:. Sovereign Grand Inspector for the AMD in IL. Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts weekly Podcasts (internet radio programs) Whence Came You? & Masonic Radio Theatre which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. He is also a co-host of The Masonic Roundtable, a Masonic talk show. He is a husband and father of four, works full time in the executive medical industry. He is the co-author of "It's Business Time - Adapting a Corporate Path for Freemasonry", "The Master's Word: A Short Treatise on the Word, the Light, and the Self - Annotated Edition" and author of "How to Charter a Lodge: A No-Nonsense, Unsanctioned Guide. More books are on the way.

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