<p><strong>Loggers fell a giant <a href="http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/12/sequoias/quammen-text">sequoia</a> in <a href="http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/united-states/california-guide/">California</a> in 1917—an example of the pain, sweat, and grit of workers who are recognized on the U.S. holiday of Labor Day.</strong></p><p dir="ltr">On the first Monday of September, Americans enjoy a day of rest to appreciate the social and economic efforts of those whose hard work built our country.</p><p dir="ltr">The first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882, in New York City, by the Central Labor Union, <a href="http://www.dol.gov/laborday/history.htm">according to the U.S. Department of Labor</a>.</p><p dir="ltr">As President Theodore Roosevelt once said: "It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things."</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Text by E. Ray Walker</em></p><p><em>Photo editing by Nicole Werbeck, Sarah Leen, and Jessie Winder</em></p>

Timber!

Loggers fell a giant sequoia in California in 1917—an example of the pain, sweat, and grit of workers who are recognized on the U.S. holiday of Labor Day.

On the first Monday of September, Americans enjoy a day of rest to appreciate the social and economic efforts of those whose hard work built our country.

The first Labor Day was celebrated on September 5, 1882, in New York City, by the Central Labor Union, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

As President Theodore Roosevelt once said: "It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things."

Text by E. Ray Walker

Photo editing by Nicole Werbeck, Sarah Leen, and Jessie Winder

Photograph by A.R. Moore, Nat Geo Image Collection

Pictures: On Labor Day, Honoring Workers Around the World

On U.S. Labor Day, we honor the people who labor daily to make their lives—and ours—better.

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