DOL's Second Century Under Way

A new online portal is the Labor Department's gateway to activities associated with its 100th anniversary year. A century after President William Howard Taft signed the bill that created DOL, President Obama issued a proclamation honoring its work.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s second century is official under way. The agency was created when President William Howard Taft signed the Organic Act just a few hours before leaving office March 4, 1913. His successor, Woodrow Wilson, soon appointed William B. Wilson as the first secretary of labor.

DOL has set up an online page where activities associated with the centennial are featured. It links to the department's Hall of Honor (previously named the Hall of Fame), which includes the first secretary and numerous other leaders.

President Obama issued a proclamation honoring DOL on its birthday. "Over the course of a century," it said, "the Department of Labor has fought to secure strong safeguards for workers and their families. It helped lay the cornerstones of middle class security, from the 40-hour work week and the minimum wage to family leave and pensions. As the agency once led by our Nation's first female Cabinet Secretary, the Department has broken down barriers to equal opportunity in the workplace. And for decades, it has improved worker safety and health and aggressively combated child labor at home and abroad."

DOL also will tweet centennial updates. To find them, follow #DOL100 on Twitter.

Taft, the only person to serve as both U.S. chief justice and president, finished third in the 1912 election. Teddy Roosevelt, who had preceded Taft as president, finished second after found a third party, the Bull Moose party.

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