On April 10 1880, Frances Perkins , the first woman to hold a cabinet position, was born in Boston. Raised in Worcester, she attended Mt. Holyoke College, where she became committed to improving the lot of working people.
Many years later, when Franklin Roosevelt was elected president, he named Frances Perkins Secretary of Labor. “Madam Secretary,” as she was called, was instrumental in establishing the Social Security system, winning minimum wage laws and bargaining rights for workers, and ending child labor.
Looking back, she remembered feeling that she had a “duty to other women to walk in and sit down on the chair that was offered, and so establish the right of others long hence and far distant . . . to sit in the high seats.”