August 14: On This Day in History...

Library of Congress

Library of Congress

FDR signs the Social Security Act, 1935

On August 14, 1935 after eight months of congressional hearings and debate, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which established two historic programs for Americans, including social security payments to those in old age, and unemployment insurance. The Act also provided for assistance to families with dependent children, mothers and infants, the infirm and indigent, and the blind. Read more about the Act, from its roots in the Depression to the work of Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins, here.


FDR Gives his "I Hate War" Speech, 1936

“We are not isolationists except in so far as we seek to isolate ourselves completely from war. I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. . . . I hate war.” 

In his address during the 1936 presidential campaign, FDR spoke against war, yet urged Americans to prepare against a totalitarian threat and embrace America's role as the "arsenal of democracy." Read more about this chapter in history here


© IWM (H 12739)

© IWM (H 12739)

FDR & Churchill Issue the Atlantic Charter, 1941

 U of North TX

 U of North TX

In August, 74 years ago, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt met at the Atlantic Conference held on off the coast of Newfoundland. There, they drafted the Atlantic Charter, which laid out the aims of the Allied forces in eight different points. This historic document signaled common aims among Britain and America, and would come to shape the vision of the post World War II climate, and the rise of the United Nations. Less than four months after this meeting, following the bombing at Pearl Harbor, the US would join the war. Read more about the Atlantic Charter and its impact, here.