Frances Perkins: Opening the Cabinet

The producers at BIO.com review hundreds of photos of famous figures each week, from award-winning actors and popular singers, to headliners and scandal makers. While we're digging through these archives, we often come across amazing photos that we're...
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The producers at BIO.com review hundreds of photos of famous figures each week, from award-winning actors and popular singers, to headliners and scandal makers. While we're digging through these archives, we often come across amazing photos that we're...

The producers at BIO.com review hundreds of photos of famous figures each week, from award-winning actors and popular singers, to headliners and scandal makers. While we're digging through these archives, we often come across amazing photos that we're just dying to share. So, without further ado, here's the one image that stands out to us this week:

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Frances Perkins (top right) with President Franklin D. Roosevelt and the rest of his cabinet members. Is it mere coincidence that the very first Labor Day was celebrated in 1882, just two years after Frances Perkins was born? Perhaps, but Perkins' connection to workers' advocacy is not. On March 4th, 1933, she was appointed as Secretary of Labor in FDR's Cabinet and became the first female member of the U.S. Cabinet. She was instrumental in the development of FDR's New Deal programs and in 1934 became the chairwoman of the President's Committee on Economic Security. In this role she was involved in almost every aspect of the work that lead to the passing of the Social Security Act in 1935.

Perkins mission in life seemed to always be clear to her and she never gave up on helping the less fortunate. She was described by one historian as "intent on beating sense into the heads of those foolish people who resisted progress." And Perkins herself said, "I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen."

And women, too, of course.