President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Message to Congress Announcing a Program for Social Security, June 8, 1934
On June 8, 1934, President Roosevelt presented to Congress his administration’s proposal to safeguard the economic and social well being of the nation by making security of the individual and family a top priority. Roosevelt argued that “social insurance” for the elderly and the unemployed would strengthen the nation by promoting economic stability and reducing the potential for social unrest.
Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration
Providing Economic Security
Congress passed the Social Security Act in the midst of the Great Depression. It authorized taxes on workers and employers to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, dependent children and the disabled. The legislation addressed the concerns of popular grassroots movements that advocated for federal old-age pensions and relief for those without jobs.