Well, to say this has been a year to remember, might be a grand understatement.  Many people have survived most of this year on unemployment benefits.  But I would wager that 99 percent of those people do not know who they should thank for those benefits.  When I discovered Frances Perkins, and her many achievements, my first thought was this woman should be known by all of us. 

Frances was born on April 10, 1880 - she died May 14th, 1965.  She was close friends with FDR, and he appointed her as Secretary to the Department of Labor.   This column is not long enough for me to list all of her accomplishments, but I will touch on a few of them.  Perkins would have been famous for being the first woman cabinet member to the presidency, but she did so much more than that.   

She was instrumental in the U.S. adoption of the federal laws regulating child labor, the federal minimum wage, the adoption of Social Security, and unemployment insurance.  She really pushed to increase work place safety.  She executed many aspects the New Deal, the Civilian Conservation Corps, the Public Works Administration, the Federal Works Administration, and the labor portion of the National Industrial Recovery Act.   

We can only imagine the incredible challenge that Perkins faced, as being the first-ever female member of the Presidential cabinet.  Perkins would wind up serving in her Secretary position for 12 years.  That’s longer than any other Secretary of Labor.  As being a member in the cabinet, she also became the first woman to enter the presidential line of succession.  Selection of a female to the cabinet had been in the previous 4 administrations.  But FDR was the first to follow through.  Fannie Coralie Perkins has to be one of, if not the most impressive female’s in our history. 

God bless you all,

RHM