Thursday, February 4, 2021

Frances Perkins

 Why is there no movie about Frances Perkins?

Frances Perkins (1880-1965)

One of the many things Beth and I talk about during our Suffrage Centennial program is the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire.

We've always mentioned that Frances Perkins witnessed the scene.

In case you don't know who Frances Perkins was, she was the first woman cabinet member.  FDR appointed her to be the Secretary of Labor and she was really one of the main architects of the New Deal.  Her achievements that still help all of us include Social Security, unemployment compensation, and an 8 hour work day.  Actually there are just too many achievements she accomplished to relay in a blog post.  Maybe too many accomplishments to even relay in a movie--a good miniseries or a Ken Burns documentary might be appropriate.

I had always known about her work in the New Deal but while I was researching our suffrage program, I purchased a biography on her life called The Woman Behind The New Deal:  The Life and Legacy of Frances Perkins by Kirsten Downey.  This month I cracked it open and loved everey minute I spent reading it.

I loved this book so much I sent a copy to both Beth and Linda.  I admire not only her determination to make the plight of working people better and safer but the ways she circumvented the truly misogynistic era she lived in.  I kept reading this book and declaring, "she did what!?!" at the choices she made.  She wasn't outrageous but she knew what she would have to do to get things done in a man's world.

By the way, if you are looking for a fascinating read, I highly recommend this book.  It's only about $10 for a soft cover book right now.  If you aren't inclined to read--there is a video available on Amazon prime and PBS (if you have their passport thing) called Summoned:  Frances Perkins and the General Welfare.  However the documentary doesn't go into a lot of detail regarding her personal life.

Totally unrelatedBarbara Brackman has some stunning silk and embroidered quilts featured on one of her blogs today.  Go here to get lost in some loveliness!

Tomorrow is Flower Friday and if you have any floral images to share, please email me at

Have a safe and hapy day!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recommendation. Although I knew about Frances Perkins, I did not know about the book. Looking forward to the read!