Here's something you might not realize about Labor Day. Although it has been a national holiday for 118 years, it actually was first observed as a holiday a quarter-century earlier -- right here in San Francisco.
That was on February 21, 1868. Brass bands blared. Flags, banners and torchlights waved high, as more that 3,000 union members marched proudly through the city's downtown, led by shipyard workers and carpenters and men from dozens of other construction trades.
The marchers called their parade a "jollification," the climax of a three-year campaign of strikes and other pressures that had terminated in establishing the eight-hour workday as a legal right in California.
New York unionists staged a similar parade in 1882 that is often wrongly cited as the first Labor Day parade, even though it took place 14 years after that march in San Francisco.
Honors for observing the first official Labor Day usually go to the state of Oregon, which proclaimed a Labor Day holiday in 1887.