History lecture to discuss women in leadership during Great Depression

University of Arkansas at Little Rock

When the Great Depression struck in the 1930s, hunger, unemployment, and misery swept the nation. President Franklin Roosevelt responded to the terror by establishing the New Deal, a plan that included the passing of banking reforms, emergency relief, work relief, and agricultural programs.

Jane Hoey, an experienced and highly respected expert of social welfare issues, served as a social worker in the Social Security Bureau during that time. Due to her advanced skill set and tenacious approach, she was promoted to the Bureau of Public of Assistance, in which she would head the relief programs for poor mothers and their children.

Dr. Deborah Skok, professor of History at Hendrix College, will discuss Hoey’s contributions to the women and children of the Depression, and the image that defined Hoey, during her upcoming Evenings with History lecture, Tuesday, April 3.

Skok’s presentation of “That Red-Headed Devil: Jane Hoey and Women’s Leadership in the New Deal,” will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Ottenheimer Auditorium in the Historic Arkansas Museum, located at 200 E. Third St. in Little Rock. Refreshments will be served at 7 p.m.

Hoey’s position was one that was uncommon for women during the era of the Great Depression, but she didn’t allow that factor to hinder the success of her division. She used her professional experiences and ethnicity to help build an image in which her red hair and Irishness equated to strength, stubbornness, and willingness to fight for a good cause.

The Evenings with History series, sponsored by the University History Institute, features presentations by UA Little Rock faculty members sharing their current research. Admission to the series is by subscription to the University History Institute, although visitors to individual talks are welcome to attend for free. UA Little Rock students may attend free of charge.
For more information, contact the Department of History at 501-569-3235.

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