News & Blog

February 2018 Newsletter

~~February 2018 Newsletter ~~

On this day in history, February 28, 1933,

Frances Perkins was appointed Secretary of Labor.


Above, a New York Times article highlighting Perkins’ appointment, 1933.
Read the full New York Times Article here.

“Susanna and I came to Washington on the train. Curiously, a considerable number of people in their enthusiasm, said, We’re going to go down and see Frances inaugurated. I remember the Brueres came, as did the Hammonds, the Beeches and three or four other people. A cousin of mine from Boston put on his hat, took his two sons who were then in Harvard and brought them down. A lot of people from the New York Department
of Labor came down – a lot of them!”

– transcript of Frances Perkins, March 3-6, 1933 from Columbia University’s Libraries Oral Histories, Notable New Yorkers.

Read the full transcript of Frances Perkins describing her inauguration as Secretary of Labor.

Dates for summer 2018 Homestead Tours

The Perkins Homestead is open to visitors on the following days in 2018:


Saturday, July 21st,

Saturday, August 4th,

Saturday, September 8th


Two tour times are available for each day they are offered. The 9:00 AM tour lasts 3 hours and includes the Homestead and a walk
to the Damariscotta River. The 1:30 PM tour last 2 hours and includes only the Perkins home.


For more information about visiting the Homestead, click here.

“Frances and Faith” by The Rev. Charles Hoffacker

John Gehrig
in this thought-provoking article in the American Prospect tells us about a new generation of labor priests and bishops who are trying to refocus the Catholic Church in America on a time when it was an ally of workers and their unions.


Click here to read more

From the Archives

Excerpt from:

Two Views of American Labor

by Frances Perkins and J. Paul St. Sure, 1965.


“I would first like to deal with questions that people ask me over and over again. What was the New Deal anyhow? Was it a political
plot? Was it just a name for a period in history? Was it a revolution? To all of these questions I answer “No.” It was something quite different. It was very real but it certainly was not a plot. It wasn’t even a plan. It wasn’t a platform put through by a
faction of the Democratic Party, and certainly it wasn’t the plan or program of the Democratic Party as a whole. If you had seen the Democrats assembled at their convention in 1932, you would have known they had no such thoughts in mind. No, it wasn’t any
of these things. It was, I think, basically an attitude. An attitude toward government, toward the people, toward labor. It was an attitude that found voice in expressions like “the people are what matter to government,” and ” a government should aim to give
all the people under its jurisdiction the best possible life.”

.Download the full report from the Online Archives of California here.



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cropped Frances and Faith icon

April 2024 FPC E-Newsletter

To appreciate thoroughly the life and
accomplishments of Frances Perkins, a great agent
of social change who served as Secretary of Labor
throughout FDR’s tenure, requires recognizing that
faith was the foundation of who she was and all that
she did.