By The Beacon Staff
The door might not be opened to a woman again for a long, long time, and I had a kind of 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 in geography to sit in the high seats.” Frances Perkins
Since 1987, the month of March has been recognized as National Women’s History Month. SMCC will be honoring this month with a seminar and film featuring adopted Mainer, Frances Perkins, on Wednesday, March 20, at 3 PM in Jewett Auditorium. It will be open to the public and free of charge!
Perkins was the first woman ever to serve in a presidential cabinet. She was a social worker in New York City and eventually found herself to be Secretary of Labor for President Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1933 until 1945. In Washington, Secretary Perkins created numerous workplace safety laws and Social Security.
Her parents lived in our lovely home state of Maine, and her once summer home is now a Labor Education Center in Newcastle, ME. Perkins passed away in the spring of 1965 and was buried in Newcastle.
The film being shown is a PBS documentary called, “You May Call Her Madam Secretary.” It recalls how Secretary Perkins was motivated to give up the comforts of home to find a solution to the misery living in the working class of the rising industrial world she lived in. She inevitably came to be one of the most influential social reformers of the twentieth century.
The panel will include SMCC Adjunct Prof. Alicia Harding, USM Prof. Emeritus Susan Feiner, and Portland playwright, Harlan Baker. They will be discussing Perkins’ pioneering life and times.
This event is organized by SMCC Adjunct Professors Alicia Harding and Herb Adams and is co-sponsored by the SMCC Student Senate and other campus student clubs.