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Social Security Turns 75

The History
Social Security was signed into law on August 14, 1935 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. According to the Social Security Administration’s Historical Background and Development of Social Security page, Economic Security for citizens was the aim, but the initial act only included assistance to the unemployed, the elderly, and dependent children. The program would later include disability and medical coverage.

Find text of the original 1935 Social Security Act, early pioneers of the program, how social security numbers evolved, archived photos, and much more on the Social Security Administration’s Social Security History page. Also view President Obama’s August 14, 2010 75th anniversary proclamation.

The Celebration
The Administration is also asking citizens to join the celebration by sharing stories about the way Social Security benefits have touched their lives. Remember the first retirement payment received? Or how a disability or survivor’s benefit made a difference? Feel free to share that personal Social Security memory by visiting the Social Security Celebrates 75 Years of Public Service page.

For more information on Social Security, check out these books from the Monroe County Library System

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The battle for social security: from FDR’s vision to Bush’s gamble
By Nancy J. Altman

Summary: An account of the history of the Social Security Program, how President Bush worked to derail it, and what can be done to fix it

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The looting of social security: how the government is draining America’s retirement account
By Allen W. Smith

Summary: Exposes how presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush have abused the Social Security Trust Fund

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Nolo’s guide to social security disability: getting & keeping your benefits
By David A Morton III

Summary: This legal guide provides information on Social Security disability insurance

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Retire early?: make the smart choices
By Steven Silbiger

Summary: Demystifies obscure Social Security and retirement laws in order to help readers make informed decisions about early retirement.

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Retirement revolution: the new reality [videorecording]

Summary: The months since the spring of 2008 have not been kind to the American economy or to the retirement accounts of millions of Americans The aggregate worth of 401(k) and IRA accounts dropped by more than $3 trillion dollars and the worth of private homes, the nest egg counted on by so many for retirement security, fell by trillions of dollars more. This film undertakes the mission to help older citizens do better with a bit less and to navigate tougher financial waters.

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Social security, Medicare & government pensions: get the most out of your retirement & medical benefits
By Joseph L. Matthews

Summary: This legal guide provides the basics on Social Security benefits and Medicare.

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The woman behind the New Deal: the life of Frances Perkins, FDR’s Secretary of Labor and his moral conscience
By Kirstin Downey

Summary: Presents a portrait of the first female cabinet member and one of the most influential women of the 20th century, whose efforts to improve the lives of America’s working people resulted in such initiatives as unemployment insurance and Social Security

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Your money ratios: 8 simple tools for financial security
By Charles Farrell

Summary: The “Retirement Roadmap” columnist for the CBS Moneywatch site outlines an approach to personal finance that draws on the examples of successful businesses to cover such topics as retirement savings, debts, and Social Security


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