This week marked the 75th anniversary of the day the Social Security Act became law, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. For the first time, ordinary Americans were protected “against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age” (in the words of the original bill). This accomplishment was just one step in President Roosevelt’s vision of a Nation free from want or fear.
President Barack Obama, in an official White House proclamationcelebrating the anniversary, wrote:
As our country recovers from one of the greatest economic challenges since that time, we are grateful for President Roosevelt’s perseverance, and for the countless public servants whose efforts produced the Social Security program we know today. Seventy-five years later, Social Security remains a safety net for seniors and a source of resilience for all Americans. Since 1935, it has been expanded to include dependent and survivor benefits, disability insurance, and guaranteed medical insurance for seniors through Medicare. It is a lasting promise that we can retire with dignity and peace of mind, that workers who become disabled can support themselves, and that families who suffer the loss of a loved one will not live in poverty.
Thank you, President Roosevelt and all other visionaries who helped make Social Security a reality.