25th Anniversary - 1960

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JULY, 1960


APWA Honors a Silver Anniversary of Service

To public welfare people, now and in the future, a date of deep significance is August 14, 1935, the day the Social Security Act became a part of the law of the land. The American Public Welfare Association, whose founding preceded that date by five years, salutes the approaching twenty-fifth anniversary of the Social Security Act with this special issue of PUBLIC WELFARE.

With their paralleling time spans, the histories of APWA and the social security program are intermingled all along the way, giving special appropriateness to this issue of APWA's journal. It is not intended as a thorough-going history or analysis of the social security program--those are available elsewhere. It attempts rather to point out the import of the program, to touch on some of its most significant aspects and to look at this historically momentous program in the perspective of its first 25 years.

From its beginning, APWA foresaw need for a nationwide social security program and stimulated interest in this progressive service. As the national voluntary organization which serves as spokesman for public welfare, the Association has served as effective liaison with the three levels of government in order to achieve improvement and greater effectiveness throughout the 25 years of social security.

APWA deeply appreciates the cooperation and contributions of the writers of the various articles printed here. All of them are persons long identified with social security. Not everyone who has had a part in this important program could be included, of course, but those whose writings appear in this issue represent all of the thousands of people who helped put the program together, who designed its structure, and over the years its improvements, and who day-to-day make it a living reality.

One article points out that the social security program is accepted by young people today just as public education and a government post office are. Even those who can remember the distraught and discouraged days of great deprivation in which the Social Security Act was born have become accustomed to the existence of the services social security provides. We tend to forget what a bold and unprecedented experiment this was for the American people to undertake.

And to forget, too, that opposition to it was so wide as to extend even to some of those who would immediately benefit from its provisions. This anniversary is an opportune time to take a more perceptive look at what is now an institution in American life and to acknowledge the positive values it has contributed to our society.

Some of those hundreds who shared in the hectic, demanding, often 20-hour long work days sometimes look back with a touch of nostalgia. Those were the days during which the "idea and hope" of social security, as Mr. Bane puts it in his article, were translated into form, substance and service. We hope that this issue of PUBLIC WELFARE will bring to these devoted early pioneers some pleasurable reminiscences; and that it will provide inspiration to the dedicated younger people nO\V serving these programs as they continue the never-ending search for better ans\vers and better ways of serving mankind. As APWA salutes the first 25 years of social security in the United States, true to its tradition of looking at what yet needs to be done, it is aware of the present program gaps and insufficiencies.. The Association dedicates itself in the next 25 years to assisting in the rounding out of this network of services for the benefit of the people of our nation.

LOULA DUNN, Director


A Dream Translated to Reality

Frances Perkins

In the Beginning . . .

Frank Bane

Birth and Early Days of Social Security in the U.S.

Edwin E. Witte

Arthur Altmeyer Comments on Social Security

Arthur J. Altmeyer

Public Assistance--Values and Lacks

Jane M. Hoey

A Quarter-Century of Services to Children.

Katherine F. Lenroot

Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance on Its 25th Anniversary

Robert M. Ball

Facing Old Age; Some Reminiscences

Robert T. Lansdale

Social Security 25 Years Hence

Wilbur I. Cohen

A Look Ahead in Public Welfare

John W. Tramburg

Medical Care through Social Security: What Lies Ahead?

Charles M. Schottland

Present and Future Imperatives: New Knowledge, More Skill.

William L. Mitchell

About the Authors