State Honors Two Ohioans Who Helped Make Labor Day A National Holiday

Sep 2, 2019

The state is honoring two men from Ohio who helped make Labor Day a national holiday more than 100 years ago.

Ohio was the first state to recognize Labor Day in 1890 with a law sponsored by state Rep. John Patterson Green of Cleveland.

Bob Saffold, a businessman and minister from Warrensville Heights, said that idea influenced Ohio-born Sen. James Henderson Kyle, who represented South Dakota in 1893.

“James Henderson Kyle got the idea for Labor Day in the U.S. from his friend from Ohio, who we believe was the first state in the union to have that,” Saffold says.

Saffold noted Green was African American and Kyle was white, but both were Republicans.

Saffold said he brought this to the attention of the state, which has put out a declaration honoring Green and Kyle for their dual role in launching Labor Day nationwide.