GoCertify Wishes You an Air-Conditioned Labor Day
Salutations from all of us at GoCertify. It's a regular ol' Monday for most of the world. Here in the United States, however, where GoCertify HQ is located, a great many people are kicking back and taking it easy in honor of the, um, hard work, ingenuity, and diligence of the legions of honest laborers whose energetic zeal built America from the ground up.
We will return to normal operations on Tuesday. Until then, however, we're making an effort to keep things hopping around this joint by presenting a short Labor Day-themed quiz. We know, we know: Who could have predicted this? We're nothing if not creatures of habit around here.
Past Labor Day quizzes have dealt with people and events actually connected to the history of labor in the United States. We're returning to that groove this year — after taking a minor detour into the cinema and Labor Day last year — with a quiz about the U.S. Secretary of Labor, the individual who advises the President about labor policy in the United States.
1) What year did the first U.S. Secretary of Labor take office?
2) Which president appointed the first U.S. Secretary of Labor?
3) How many of the (so far) 29 individuals to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor were named William?
4) How many of the (so far) 29 individuals to serve as U.S. Secretary of Labor have been women?
5) Who is, to date, the longest-tenured U.S. Secretary of Labor?
6) Who is, to date, the most briefly-tenured U.S. Secretary of Labor?
7) Who is, to date, the only U.S. Secretary of Labor to hold office under three different presidents?
8) Which two women each served as U.S. Secretary of Labor to one president and U.S. Secretary of Transportation to a different president?
9) Where does the U.S. Secretary of Labor stand in the line of presidential succession?
10) How many living individuals are there who formerly served as U.S. Secretary of Labor?
1) 1913. The first U.S. Secretary of Labor was Scottish immigrant William B. Wilson, who began working in Pennsylvania coal mines at age 9 and became secretary of the local miner's union at age 14.
2) Woodrow Wilson. The U.S. Department of Labor was created in 1913 by dividing the then-nascent U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor (established in 1903) in two and giving each new department a cabinet-level secretary.
3) Five. In addition to the aforementioned William Wilson, four other Williams have led the Department of Labor: William N. Doak (under Herbert Hoover), William W. Wirtz (under Lyndon B. Johnson), William Usery Jr. (under Gerald Ford), and William Emerson Brock III (under Ronald Reagan). Two of them chose not to use "William" publicly, with Wirtz preferring to go by "W. Willard," and Brock taking a shine to the more folksy "Bill."
4) Seven. The seven ladies to lead the Department of Labor (so far) Frances Perkins (under Franklin D. Roosevelt and Harry Truman), Anne Dore McLaughlin (under Ronald Reagan), Elizabeth Dole and Lynn M. Martin (both under George H.W. Bush), Alexis Herman (under Bill Clinton), Elaine Chao (under George W. Bush), and Hilda Solis (under Barack Obama).
5) Frances Perkins. The aforementioned Perkins was appointed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and served for 12 years and four months, covering all four of Roosevelt's terms and remaining in office briefly following the death of Roosevelt to advise Harry Truman. Perkins was the both first woman to serve as a cabinet secretary and the first to lead the Department of Labor.
6) Martin P. Durkin. Durkin, a Democrat appointed by a Republican president (Dwight D. Eisenhower), resigned after serving for just 199 days, largely on account of his failure to secure reform of the Taft-Hartley Act.
7) James J. Davis. "Iron Puddler" Davis, only the second person ever to serve as Secretary of Labor, remained in office during the entire presidencies of both Warren G. Harding and Calvin Coolidge, as well working for a year with Herbert Hoover.
8) Elizabeth Dole and Elaine Chao. Dole served as Secretary of Transportation to Ronald Reagan before serving as Secretary of Labor to George H.W. Bush, while Chao served as Secretary of Labor to George W. Bush before serving as Secretary of Transportation to Donald J. Trump.
9) Eleventh. The positions ahead of Secretary of Labor are (in order) Vice President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, President pro tempore of the Senate, Secretary of State, Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary of Defense, Attorney General, Secretary of the Interior, Secretary of Agriculture, and Secretary of Commerce.
10) 11. The oldest still-living former U.S. Secretary of Labor is Ray Marshall, who was appointed by Jimmy Carter. The youngest still-living former U.S. Secretary of Labor is Alexander Acosta, who was appointed by Donald J. Trump.