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Diving back into history may be delightful or dismaying. KNKX's Nick Morrison delivers a daily dose of it with his signature humor and skepticism. Here's what happened on this day.

March 4: The first female U.S. Cabinet member is sworn in and 'Surfin' USA' makes waves

A black and white image of a man in a suit seated at a desk signing a document while two men and one woman stand behind his chair.
In this June 6, 1933 file photo, President Franklin D. Roosevelt is shown signing the Wagner Unemployment Bill at the White House in Washington. Standing, from left are: Rep. Theodore A. Peyser, D-N.Y.; Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins; and Sen. Robert Wagner, D-N.Y.

MARCH 4 — On this day in 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt swore in Frances Perkins as his Secretary of Labor. She was not only the first woman to serve in a U.S. Cabinet position, she was also one of the longest-serving Roosevelt appointees (1933-1945) and the longest-serving Secretary of Labor in our history.

Ms. Perkins was a big deal in the New Deal. She was involved in the creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as well as the She-She-She Camps for unemployed women. She created the Immigration and Naturalization Service and played a major role in creating the Social Security Act of 1935.

Before her government service, Frances Perkins had been a teacher, which she returned to after her work in the Roosevelt Administration. Until her death in 1965, she served as a teacher and lecturer in Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter renamed the Department of Labor building the Frances Perkins Building. In 1982, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame and, in 2015 she was named one of the 31 Icons of LGBT Month by Equality Forum.

The Beach Boys debut hit record, with songwriting credited to Brian Wilson, was released on this day in 1963. It was probably the first act of cultural appropriation that darkened my innocent farm-boy life in Eastern Washington.

I really liked the song until I discovered the music of Chuck Berry a couple of years later: “Hey! Berry’s ‘Sweet Little Sixteen’ and ‘Surfin’ USA' sounded A LOT alike."

Initially, I didn’t know who was rippin’ off who until some record store sophisticates in Spokane set me straight. Berry’s song predated the Beach Boy song by about five years. Fairly or not, I dumped the Beach Boys, embraced Chuck Berry and never looked back.

However, I take some comfort in the fact that Berry — never one to let himself be "played" — soon threatened a lawsuit. The Beach Boys manager (the Wilson Brothers dad) quickly turned the song’s copyright over to Berry’s music publisher. Berry started getting this song’s royalties in 1966. And that was that. It apparently didn't put much of a hole in the Beach Boys’ bank account.

Compare and contrast:

Nick began working at KNKX as a program host in the late 1980’s and, with the exception of a relatively brief hiatus, has been with the station ever since. Along with his work as a Midday Jazz host, Nick worked for several years as KNKX’s Music Director. He is now the station’s Production Manager and also serves as a fill-in host on KNKX’s jazz and blues programs.