Sample Social Security card

Social Security studies

Stacey Vanek Smith Feb 1, 2007
Sample Social Security card

SCOTT JAGOW: Social Security is always a hot topic. Surely, it’ll come up in the next presidential election. This morning, we look back on how it got started. Stacey Vanek-Smith has this History of Business segment.


STACEY VANEK-SMITH: During the Great Depression, more than half of all seniors were living below the poverty line.

The Social Security Act was passed as part of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, and this week back in 1940, the first monthly Social Security check was received.

It went to Ida May Fuller in Ludlow, Vermont and was worth $22.54.

Social Security went on to become one of the most popular federal programs of all time, but it’s always been source of heated political debate.

PRESIDENT CLINTON: We will save Social Security now.

PRESIDENT BUSH: And if we don’t act today, the problem will be valued in the trillions.

As for Ida May Fuller, she continued to receive checks each month for the next 35 years. When she passed away at age 100, she had collected more than $22,000 in Social Security payments.

I’m Stacey Vanek-Smith.

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