Frances Perkins Essay

Frances Perkins Essay

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Frances (Fannie) Perkins was an amazing person that represented a strong image for the female race. She was the first female cabinet member in the United States. Frances Perkins was the most influential person in American history because if she hadn’t been the first U.S. female cabinet member, females may not have a role in the U.S. government.
In the 1840’s, the Perkins’ family worked in the brick-making factory, and they were wealthy for a short period of time. Many businesses collapsed and were bought out, so the wealth didn’t last long. In 1870, the Perkins’ turned to dairy farming to get their money. Shortly after, Frances’ father, Frederick married a woman by the name of Susan Bean. On April 10th, 1880 in Boston, Massachusetts Fannie Coralie Perkins was born. In 1884, when Fannie was four years old, Frederick and Susan had a second child, Ethel (Downey 7). Fannie was very close to her family her entire life. She often spoke of ancestors, she adored and their ways of thinking helped her when she had to make big decisions later on in her life.
Fannie went to Worcester Classical High School, which was mostly made up of boys. This was rare for women because during that period of time only 3% of women moved on to a higher level of education. While she was growing up, Fannie was quiet and let others be the center of attention, but she spoke up when needed. In high school, Fannie started to realize that the gaps between the rich and the poor in the community were getting bigger. However, her family still remained in the middle class. Fannie graduated from high school, and was enrolled into Mount Holyoke College. In college, she shared a room with a friend in Rockefeller Hall. Fannie liked the college, and her mot...


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...ary of labor in 1933, and she and Suzanna packed their things to go to Washington D.C. “On March 4th, 1933, Frances was sworn in as the first woman to serve in the United States cabinet” Schiff says. This was an astonishing moment. Frances was not only the first female cabinet member; she was the only secretary of labor to hold the job for 12 years.



Works Cited

Downey, Kirstin. The Woman Behind the New Deal: The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins- Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, and the Minimum Wage. New York: Random House Inc., 2009. Print.
Schiff, Karenna Gore. Lighting the Way: Nine Women Who Changed Modern America. New York: HYPERION, 2005. Print.
SSA, Web. 22 Mar 2014. .
Stolberg, Benjamin. "MADAME SECRETARY." 27 7 1940: Web. 22 Mar. 2014.
Web. 22 Mar 2014. .

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