This is the official blog of the nonprofit Frances Perkins Center. The blog contains stories and information about Frances Perkins, who was an amazingly accomplished woman — FDR’s Secretary of Labor for 12 years, the first woman cabinet secretary, principal author of the New Deal, and dedicated advocate for social justice. We’ll keep you informed about the progress of the Center — upcoming events, programs, and other news. And, most of all, we try to interpret selected current events through Frances Perkns’s eyes — “What would Frances say?”
Located on the banks of the Damariscotta River in Newcastle, Maine, the Frances Perkins Center was the homestead of many generations of the Perkins family. The Brick House, as it is known, and surrounding countryside were a source of solace, renewal, and inspiration for Frances. It’s a fitting place to commemorate her legacy and to nurture the philosophy and policies embodied in that legacy. (You can learn more about the Center and see lots of photos here: http://FrancesPerkinsCenter.org.)
The Frances Perkins Center serves two functions. First, as a center for the study of her accomplishments and the policies that she implemented: eventually, scholars and students from Maine, the U.S., and around the world will visit to immerse themselves in Frances Perkins’s papers (both primary sources and collected facsimiles) and the cultural landscape that shaped her view of the world.
Second, the Center nurtures progressive leadership to carry her legacy into the future by sponsoring retreats, symposia, and conferences—both here at the Brick House and in other locations—bringing together elected officials, labor leaders, historians, policy makers, students of all ages, and others interested in honoring and building upon Frances Perkins’s commitment to working people around the world. And we share the writings and lectures of these visitors through publications such as The Perkins Report.