Assuming Marty Walsh is confirmed as Secretary of Labor, he'll join Maurice Tobin on the exclusive list of Boston mayors to serve in that post.
Harry Truman picked Tobin, who had actively campaigned for him, as his new labor secretary after the 1948 election, although by then Tobin was no longer mayor. Tobin had won election as governor in 1944, despite his connection to the Cocoanut Grove disaster (he'd told the fire department to lay off his good buddy who owned the place) - then lost a re-election bid in 1946 to his Republican lieutenant governor, in an era when governors had to run every two years and the lieutenant governor could belong to another party.
Tobin, a Mission Hill native who had served as mayor between 1938 and 1944, was noted as labor secretary for winning an increase in the federal minimum wage - to 75 cents an hour. But Tobin, like Walsh a strong union advocate, failed to win elimination of the Taft-Hartley Act, which restricted union activities during strikes - and which required union officials to sign affidavits that they were not Communists.
In 1951, Tobin publicly attacked Sen. Joseph McCarthy for his witch-hunt campaign against alleged Communists in government.
Tobin left office in January, 1953, after Eisenhower's victory in the 1952 election. He died just six months later, at 52.
In 1967, the Mystic River Bridge was renamed for him. He's also remembered in the name of the Tobin K-8 School and the Tobin Community Center on Mission Hill.
Photo from the BPL's Richard Merrill collection. Posted under this Community Commons license.