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Six black workers in the Alexandria (Va.) Glass Factory, 1911
Labor by children under 16 was regulated thanks to Grace Abbott's efforts

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Reformer Grace Abbott Was Born
November 17, 1878

The Children's Bureau campaigned for a constitutional amendment limiting child labor. Although it was never ratified, it did set an example for legislation regulating the labor of children under the age of 16, which was passed during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938. Abbott didn't stop with child labor. She also advocated for other programs. In 1921, the Sheppard-Towner Act passed, directing the Children's Bureau to administer an aid program to the states for child and maternity health care.

After a career of fighting for funding and protecting the Children's Bureau, Abbott retired from government service in 1934. By that time, she was confident that the work of the Children's Bureau would continue, and the Social Security Act would provide assistance to mothers and children.

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