What you may not have realized when you rang in 2010 was that you also were ringing in the 75th anniversary of Social Security. On August 14, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law. Since then, Social Security has been a cornerstone of our nation, touching the lives of almost every American at one time or another — for 75 years.
When President Roosevelt signed Social Security into law, he said, “The civilization of the past hundred years, with its startling industrial changes, has tended more and more to make life insecure. Young people have come to wonder what would be their lot when they came to old age. The man with a job has wondered how long the job would last. This law, too, represents a cornerstone in a structure which is being built but is by no means complete. It is, in short, a law that will take care of human needs and at the same time provide the United States an economic structure of vastly greater soundness.”
Change and economic insecurity were regular parts of everyday life in those days, just as they are today. Social Security is our nation’s most successful domestic program and has a rich history. We will be commemorating the anniversary throughout the year by showcasing milestones in Social Security’s 75-year history on our website. We encourage you to learn more by visiting Social Security’s History Page at www.socialsecurity. gov/history.