Social Security turns 77 today. Watch President Franklin Delano Roosevelt sign the bill into law, followed by a powerful speech.
President Roosevelt signing Social Security Act of 1935. Also shown, left to right: Rep. Robert Doughton (D-NC); Sen. Robert Wagner (D-NY); Rep. John Dingell, Sr. (D-MI); Unknown man in bowtie; Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins; Senator Pat Harrison (D-MS); Congressman David L. Lewis (D-MD). (UPI/Library of Congress)
On this day in 1935, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Social Security into law.
Looking back 77 years through time, given today's political tug-of-war for America's soul, FDR's words at the occasion are particularly poignant.
The video below is of the signing of the Social Security Act.
Text of the speech follows the video.
"Today, a hope of many years standing is in large part fulfilled. The civilization of the past 100 years, with its startling industrial changes, has tended more and more to make life insecure. Young people have come to wonder what will be their lot when the came to old age. A man with a job has wondered how long the job would last.
"This social security measure gives at least some protection to 30 millions of our citizens who will reap direct benefits through unemployment compensation, through old-age pensions and through increased services for the protection of children and the prevention of ill health. We can never insure 100 percent of the population against 100 percent of the hazards and vicissitudes of life, but we have tried to frame a law that will give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty stricken old age.
"It seems to me that if the Senate and the House of Representatives, in this long and arduous session, have done nothing more than pass this security bill, social security act, the session will be regarded as historic for all time."