America Celebrates Social Security Anniversary 80 Years After Fraternal Order of Eagles Lead Push For Social Change

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The Fraternal Order of Eagles (F.O.E.) celebrate the 80th anniversary of Social Security at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial on Aug. 14, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Eagles were a major force towards the passage of the Social Security Act, which was signed by President Roosevelt on Aug. 14, 1935

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, significant in the passage of the Social Security Act, at the FDR Memorial on Aug. 14, 2015 in Washington, DC, celebrate the 80th Anniversary of the Social Security.

Without the courage and persistence of our membership, the entire complexion of the United States would differ greatly from what we see today.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles commemorated the 80th Anniversary of the Social Security Act by visiting the FDR Memorial in Washington, DC, and focusing on the sculptures that depict those dire Depression Era times

For more than 55 million Americans each month, financial stability is provided through a groundbreaking piece of legislation known as the Social Security Act. America’s largest social program, signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on August 14, 1935, celebrates 80 years of assistance in 2015, thanks in large part to the work of one the country’s most historic community service organizations.

In the wake of an economic climate not unlike the one faced by many Americans today, the Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) answered the call of duty, leveraging its powerful and influential membership base to help lead the grassroots effort to pass the act, securing financial protection for citizens most in need.

Chuck Lang, Grand Worthy President of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, believes the FOE’s work places the organization in a unique position historically. “It’s extremely rare and gratifying to be a part of an organization whose efforts continue to be felt around the country more than a century after beginning the campaign to protect the rights of the retired, the unemployed and the disabled,” Lang said. “Myself, my fellow Eagles, relatives, friends and neighbors currently benefit from the economic safety net that is Social Security. Without the courage and persistence of our membership, the entire complexion of the United States would differ greatly from what we see today.”

The FOE began the fight to establish financial assistance for the elderly and the unemployed nearly 20 years before the signing of the Social Security Act, with members pushing state-by-state for the creation of Old Age Pension laws. In 1923, America’s first Old Age Pension laws were established in Pennsylvania, Montana and Nevada.

Despite countless setbacks, the Eagles continued its mission and by 1933, 28 states had enacted Old Age Pension laws. Such victories paved the way for the eventual signing of the Social Security Act. Today, Social Security is primarily provided through the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) program, which paid out $1.3 trillion in aid in 2013.

President Roosevelt, who passed an Old Age Pension law with the help of the Eagles during his time as Governor of New York, recognized the organization for providing the push necessary to enact Social Security.

“I have long observed with satisfaction the sponsorship by the Eagles of social justice legislation both in the states and in the nation,” President Roosevelt said upon signing the Act. “These effects have borne, and are bearing, gratifying results. Our countrymen owe the Eagles good will for their unselfish services.”

In addition to its storied history with Social Security, the FOE is also credited with making the first public plea for Mother’s Day in 1904, as well as with providing influential support for the creation of the Jobs After 40 program and Medicare.

The Fraternal Order of Eagles, an international non-profit organization, unites fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills, and by promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope. Founded in 1898, the Eagles fund research in areas such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease and cancer, and raise money for neglected and abused children and the aged, as well as work for social and civic change. Their ranks have broadened to include seven former U.S. Presidents, celebrities and other notables from all walks of life.

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David Brokaw
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