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August 14, 1935


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law at the White House today “HR 7260” better known as the Social Security Act of 1935.

The law will….

 “establish a system of Federal old-age benefits enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent & crippled children, maternal & child welfare, public health & the administration of their unemployment compensation laws.”

The Social Security Act of 1935 passed overwhelmingly in both houses of Congress. 

In the House of Representatives, where the bill was introduced, 81 Republicans joined 284 Democrats to vote in favor of Social Security. Only 30 from both major parties voted no.  

In the Senate 16 Republicans joined 60 Democrats in voting for the proposal.  Only 1 Democrat & 5 Republicans voted no.

FDR Signs Social Security Act of 1935

FDR’s cousin, Theodore Roosevelt, discussed the idea of “a system of social insurance” in his 1912 Progressive Party campaign.

During the Great Depression, the elderly in America lived in dependency which led to calls for change.

Huey Long of Louisiana championed a “Share Our Wealth” plan & Dr. Francis E. Townsend of California proposed a revolving pension plan.

The idea of social insurance instead of welfare was already widespread in Europe when FDR was elected in 1932.

Under the act, social security benefits will be paid based on a payroll tax contribution made by workers during their years of employment.

In signing the Social Security Act of 1935, FDR said:

“This seeking of a greater measure of welfare & happiness does not indicate a change in values.  It is rather a return to values lost in the course of our economic development & expansion.”*

*The 1st FICA (Federal Insurance Contribution Act) passed in January 1937.  Over the years, more than $8.7 trillion has been paid into the SS Trust Fund while more than $7.4 trillion has been paid out.

Source:  www.socialsecurity.gov

                     Ida May Fuller
          Gets her 1st SS Check to 
 include a Cost of Living increase
                   October 3 , 1980

In signing the Social Security Amendments of 1961, President John F. Kennedy said:

“A nation’s strength lies in the well-being of its people.  The Social Security program plays an important part in providing for families, children & older persons in times of stress.  Changes in our population, work habits & standard of living require constant revision (to make) the program more effective.”

I retired in May of 2010 after contributing to the Social Security system for 40 years as well as my state retirement program.  If it were not for social security, my state retirement would have provided less than 50% of my annual salary. 

Thanks to Social Security, I was able to retire at age 62 with the knowledge that I could continue to provide for my family’s needs near the same level as before.

              Social Security Card

August 14, 1961


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy today asked Congress to appropriate $73.2 million for the transport & storage of wheat & medical supplies for civil defense.

The President also sent a message today to Sir Winston Churchill paying tribute to the former British PM on the 20th anniversary of the Atlantic Charter.

August 14, 1958


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Senator John F. Kennedy today charged that a slowdown in United States missile development will result in Soviet missile superiority & will, in turn, create “a peril more deadly than any wartime danger we have ever known.”

August 14, 1956


Chicago, Illinois (JFK+50) The candidacy of Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts for the 1956 Democratic Vice-Presidential nomination picked up some steam today as delegate support increased.

JFK added delegate support from California, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia & Oregon.

The leaders in the race here at the Democratic National Convention are JFK, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee & Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota.*

*JFK’s father counseled his son not to seek the Vice-Presidency in 1956.

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