written by Alexandra Wade
Frances Perkins took over as secretary of labor on this day in 1933, making her the first woman to hold a position in the U.S. presidential cabinet. Trained as a social worker, she was involved in the reform following the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. As the secretary of labor, she was influential in writing the New Deal legislation and developing the Social Security Act of 1935. She continued to work as a teacher and lecturer after her career in government.