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August 4, 2000

Catherine Noe, Press Officer

For Immediate Release

410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

Social Security Online


Social Security Administration Kicks Off
65th Anniversary Celebration at
Hyde Park, New York

Kenneth S. Apfel, Commissioner of Social Security, announced today that the Social Security Administration (SSA) will hold a celebration of the 65th anniversary of Social Security at Hyde Park, New York on Saturday, August 5, 2000 at 11:00 a.m. Hyde Park is the home of President Franklin Roosevelt, the architect of the Social Security program. President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act into law on August 14, 1935.

"President Roosevelt considered the Social Security program to be the cornerstone of his Presidency," commented Commissioner Apfel. "And the FDR library and museum, where some of the most important documents surrounding the creation of Social Security are housed, is a fitting place to celebrate the 65th anniversary of Social Security."

President Roosevelt envisioned Social Security as a program that would eliminate the blight of poverty from the lives of elderly Americans and allow them to maintain their dignity and independence. Today it is clear that Social Security has met President Roosevelt's goal and become the most successful domestic program in our nation's history. More than 150 million workers are protected by Social Security, and more than 44 million people receive retirement, survivors and disability benefits from Social Security.

Social Security benefits are essential to the economic security of today's older Americans. Only 11 percent of America's senior citizens live in poverty; without Social Security, it would be nearly half. The annual cost-of-living adjustment ensures that seniors will have an inflation-proof benefit that they can count on for as long as they live.

In addition, one-in-three Social Security beneficiaries is not a retiree but a disabled worker, the dependent family member of a disabled worker or the survivor of a deceased worker. Over the years, Social Security has become America's number one family protection plan.

Social Security is an economic compact among generations. Today's workers are paying for the benefits that their parents and grandparents receive. We must all work together to ensure that today's workers and their families will be able to depend on Social Security throughout the 21st Century.

In the words of President Bill Clinton, "Social Security reflects some of our deepest values…the duties we owe to our parents, the duties we owe to each other when we're differently situated in life, the duties we owe to our children and grandchildren. Indeed, it reflects our determination to move forward across generations and across income divides in our country, as one America."

"As we commemorate the 65th anniversary of Social Security, we celebrate more than a milestone in time," stated Commissioner Apfel. "We celebrate a program that has brought peace of mind and financial security to generations of Americans. We celebrate the vision and courage of President Roosevelt whose legacy lives on everyday through this important program. Social Security is a part of the fabric of American Society. Let us celebrate its accomplishments and ensure its continued success for future generations of Americans."


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SSA Press Office 4-H-9 West High Rise 6401 Security Blvd. Baltimore, MD 21235
410-965-8904 FAX 410-966-9973

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