HYDE PARK, N.Y. — The young, the old and the elected celebrated the 50th anniversary of Social Security today, praising the program that has paid out $1.8 trillion in benefits and pledging its good health "for the next 75 years."
Social Security, signed into law by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935, to protect against "the hazards and vicissitudes of life," has weathered several recent attempts to cut its benefits.
Several speakers and many people in the audience of 4,000 who gathered at the Roosevelt family estate urged a continuing fight against any reduction of benefits.
"This is a wonderful celebration," Franklin D. Roosevelt Jr. said. "These events are a reminder for people and elected representatives of the importance of maintaining and strengthening--and yes, even improving--the Social Security system."