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This photo of the signing of the Social Security Act was sent to us by a friend of the Center whose father received it, signed, from President Roosevelt’s son.

When President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law on August 14, 1935, older people and their families entered a new era of financial well-being. For the first time, Social Security provided a dependable income stream for retirees. Older people no longer feared the “poor house.” Families also gained peace-of-mind, knowing their older relatives had basic financial security. Social Security has entered into the fabric of American culture to such an extent that we now take it for granted. But it wasn’t always so. 

While the stock market crashed in the 1930s, and has experienced significant ups and downs since then, Social Security was designed to skirt these variabilities – and has done so. It is a social insurance model that can be counted on to provide a steady source of income. Working people pay into the system so retirees can receive income when they are no longer employed. Because of Social Security, the vast majority of retirees no longer face a destitute future after a life-time of work.

Social Security has kept older people and their families secure for generations. The Center for Medicare Advocacy salutes those who work to keep it strong – as an enduring social insurance program for generations to come.

Save the Date:

Friday, October 23, 2015

The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
in partnership with
The McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University

Retirement Security in a Changing America
A thought leadership symposium exploring the economic and health challenges
in preparing for and living in retirement


Keynote Luncheon Remarks by Former Senator Tom Harkin (Iowa)


Georgetown University Conference Center
3800 Reservoir Rd NW
Washington, DC 20007

For more information, visit

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