Imagine working for just 25 cents an hour. That was the minimum wage set in 1938 when President Roosevelt signed the Fair Labor Standards Act. Compared to today's minimum wage of $5.15, 25 cents doesn't seem like much. But at the time, it was revolutionary and highly controversial. It also played a part in eliminating sweatshop conditions, especially for women and child workers. In terms of today's dollars, the 25 cents in 1938 had the buying power of just over $3. Across the country, nearly 73-million Americans over the age of 16 are paid by the hour for their work, averaging $9.91 an hour.
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