Today’s post was shared by the U.S. Labor Department and comes from blog.dol.gov
Happy belated 103rd birthday to the department that helps keep workers safe and paid fairly for their efforts on the job. The Labor Department includes 28 agencies like the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), which is of great interest to our lawyers and staff members, as we advocate for injured workers in Nebraska and Iowa.
The historical pictures in this post are quite enlightening, and it’s nice that some of the points have links for additional information about the people or situations featured. Have a safe and productive week.
In honor of the Labor Department’s 103rd birthday on March 4, here are some facts we bet you didn’t know.
- President William Howard Taft signed the Organic Act creating the U.S. Department of Labor literally during his last few hours in office on March 4, 1913. Taft signed reluctantly, figuring incoming President Woodrow Wilson would create the department anyway. Labor organizations and advocates had been pushing for a seat at the president’s table for decades.That same day, President-elect Wilson and President Taft were photographed at the White House just before Wilson’s inauguration ceremony. We’d love to know what was so funny. Credit: Library of Congress.
- During World War I, a War Labor Administration was created within the fledgling Labor Department to organize labor production. It was so effective that many New Deal programs and the World War II labor program were modeled after it.Patriotic art was commissioned to inspire workers to join wartime efforts, like this awesome painting by Gerrit A. Beneker – pictured here with his model.
- The first woman in the president’s Cabinet was Frances Perkins, Franklin Roosevelt’s secretary of labor from 1933-1945. Among her accomplishments: the 40-hour workweek, Social Security and Unemployment Insurance.Perkins’ signature look – a tricorn hat – was the result of this advice from her mother: “Never let yourself get a hat that is narrower…