Social Security celebrates 72 years today. Five years after the stock market crash of 1929, on June 8, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt announced his intention to provide a program for Social Security in a message to Congress. Subsequently, the President issued an Executive Order which created the Committee on Economic Security, composed of five top cabinet-level officials. The committee was instructed to study the entire problem of economic insecurity and to make recommendations that would serve as the basis for legislative consideration by the Congress.
In early January 1935, the CES made its report to the President, and on January 17 the President introduced the report to both Houses of Congress for simultaneous consideration. Hearings were held in the House Ways & Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee during January and February. Some provisions made it through the Committees in close votes, but the bill passed both houses overwhelmingly in the floor votes. After a Conference which lasted throughout July, the bill was finally passed and sent to President Roosevelt for his signature.The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Roosevelt on August 14, 1935. In addition to several provisions for general welfare, the new Act created a social insurance program designed to pay retired workers age 65 or older a continuing income after retirement.
The Social Security Act was signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on this day in history, August 14, 1935. The Act created unemployment compensation, old-age benefits and aid to dependent children .
As he signed the Act into law, he stated, “We can never insure one hundred percent of the population against one hundred percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law which will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”
Although attacks have been made against the Social Security Act and its processes, most notably Bush’s attempts to privatize social security, Social Security has survived for over seven decades.