"I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen."
Frances Perkins (1882-1965)
U.S. Secretary of Labor
As Secretary of Labor under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Frances Perkins played a major part in the development of New Deal programs—notably Social Security and the Civilian Conservation Corps, which relieved Depression-era unemployment—even as she secured the right of unions to organize. She believed that protective legislation, rather than trade unionism or an equal-rights amendment for women, was the key instrument for improving the lot of all workers, and pressed for laws to compensate injured workers, improve industrial safety, eliminate child labor, regulate work hours, and establish a federal minimum wage.