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The U.S. Department of Labor Timeline

The First Secretary

March 6, 1913 to March 4, 1921

William B. Wilson (April 2, 1862-May 25, 1934) comes to the U.S. at age 8. A year later, he works as a “breaker boy” in the coal mines. By age 14, he is secretary of his local union. He helps found the United Mine Workers and serves as secretary-treasurer. He represents Pennsylvania’s 15th District in the U.S. Congress. A champion of the eight-hour workday and jobs for women and minorities, he plays an important role in our World War I victory by mobilizing an effective workforce for defense production.

William B. Wilson - U.S. Department of Labor

William B. Wilson - U.S. Department of Labor

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