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View Diary: Seventy five years ago today, (8 comments)

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  •  She was a pioneer for women, and for workers. (0+ / 0-)

    As the first woman in the Cabinet, her mere presence represented progress. But her influence went beyond that.  Like Eleanor, she was constantly pushing FDR on progressive policies.

    Perkins came by her sympathy for the plight of workers honestly.  In one of those strange ironies, she was having tea with a friend in New York in 1911 when they heard screams from what turned out to be the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. Witnessing that event was a seminal experience for her.  She became a part of the investigating team, along with Robert Wagner. Perkins became Secretary of Labor, and Wagner, as a Senator, sponsored the Wagner Act, better know as the National Labor Relations Act. There could be no better epitaph for those workers, mostly young immigrant women, who lost their lives in that tragedy than the fact that it inspired people like Perkins to do so much to prevent such tragedies, and to improve the lot of workers in the US.

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