President Roosevelt signs Social Security Act, August 14, 1935
President Roosevelt signs Social Security Act, August 14, 1935

Event Summary


The Social Security Act from Marist College

The Social Security Act established a system of old-age benefits for workers, benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, aid for dependent mothers and children, the blind, and the physically handicapped.
  • First time the federal government instituted a program to alleviate social ills
  • Did not cover about 1/2 of workers in the U.S. economy
    • Agricultural workers and domestic workers (who were in large part African Americans) were excluded

How Corporate Moderates Created the Social Security Act and Then Tried to Undermine It Later, G. William Domhoff, University of California Santa Cruz


timeline2_rus.svg.pngKey Dates in the History of Social Security


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primary_sources.PNGPrimary Sources


Go here for the text of the Act

A Brief Explanation of the Act by the Federal Government (1936)


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The Social Security Act from EDSITEment

Taxes in U.S. History from the Internal Revenue Service

Investigate the Social Security Act from Historical Thinking Matters