Dear President Roosevelt

January 10th, 2012 · No Comments · Blog, Featured Home Page Post

Letter to President Roosevelt

This letter was received at Labor at 2 p.m. on July 19, 1933.

From its inception, Social Security Insurance, and the precursor to SSI, Old Age and Blind Pension, has been about assisting individuals who cannot provide for themselves as well as assuring that their family members do not run out of funds themselves attempting to assist them.   And, from its beginnings, its advocacy has been driven by family members seeking help for other family members. A fairly typical letter sent to President Roosevelt on July 13, 1933 describes a Beaumont, Texas daughter and sister’s desperation in trying to take care of her family:

“Dear Sir:

I write to ask for your assistance in securing an old age pension for my mother…She is helpless, struggling from Sugar Diabetes, which has affected her mind. She has to be cared for in the same manner as an infant. She is out of funds completely.   Her son whom she used to keep house for is in the hospital in Waco, Texas—no compensation for either himself or her.  I am a widow. I have spent all my savings in caring for her…I cannot rent my rooms now for she needs constant care and attention. Please do something about this request as soon as possible…

Yours Truly,

Mrs. M.A. Zoller, Sr.

I do not own my home at present and I cannot pay my bills (overdue).”

Full letter located at:  http://www.ssa.gov/history/lettertoFDR.html.

Mrs. Zoller and others like her spoke to their leaders about the need for a safety net for their family members. And, it worked!  It resulted in the creation of the Social Security System that has been there for over 70 years.

Can you picture writing a similar letter today?  We cannot go back to the days of Mrs. Zoller’s time!  So be like Mrs. Zoller today and have your voice heard!


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