Thursday, August 14, 2014



Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law at  HR 7260, the Social Security Act, seventy-nine years ago today, August 14, 1935.

The law...

"establish(ed) a system of Federal old-age benefits enabling the several States to make more adequate provision for aged persons, blind persons, dependent and crippled children, maternal and child welfare, public health and 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 sixteen Republicans joined sixty Democrats in voting for the proposal.  Only one Democrat and five 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 while 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 would 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 and happiness does not indicate a change in values.  It is rather a return to values lost in the course of our economic development and expansion."*

*The first Federal Insurance Contribution Act was passed in January 1937. More than $8.7 trillion has been paid into the SS Trust Fund while more than $7.4 trillion has been paid out.


Ida May Fuller
Gets her SS Check 
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 and older persons in times of stress.  

Changes in our population, work habits and standard of living require constant revision (to make) the program more effective."

Social Security Card


Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President John F. Kennedy asked Congress to appropriate $73.2 million for the transport and storage of wheat and medical supplies for civil defense 53 years ago today, August 14, 1961.

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


Chicago, Illinois (JFK+50) The candidacy of Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts for the Democratic Vice-Presidential nomination picked up steam 58 years ago today, August 14, 1956, as his delegate support increased.

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

The leaders in the race at the Democratic National Convention also included Senators Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota.