AUGUST 14, 1950
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Monday, August 14, is the fifteenth anniversary of the Social Security Act, and those of us who think back to the very beginnings realize how much has been done under that act to change the daily lives of our people.
Of the original board, consisting of John G. Winant, Vincent Miles and Arthur Altmeyer, only Mr. Altmeyer is living today. His leadership has meant a great deal in the development of the whole Social Security program. Anyone who knew John Winant will realize the idea would have great appeal for him, and as long as he lived he would have been deeply interested in the development of a program which meant permanent changes for the better in the lives of so many people.
I know people in this country who look upon social legislation as Socialistic, if not Communistic, but there are few people who would run for public office and publicly oppose continuance and further development of Social Security.
An old friend of mine, Miss Jane Hoey, of New York City, is the one bureau director who started out with the program and has remained with it ever since. She is head of the Bureau of Public Assistance. I remember her work in New York, but today, of course, she is much more widely known for what she has done in the Social Security program. I think a great many people throughout the country will be grateful that 15 years ago we had the foresight to establish the Social Security Act and that we have had good leadership in the development of the programs under this act. My congratulations go to every member of the staff and to the director who is in charge today, Oscar Ewing.
We got back from Tanglewood at a fairly reasonable hour Friday night. I will frankly say it was a surprise to me to find how much interest there seemed to be in the playing of "Peter and the Wolf." It is charming music, however, and I enjoyed reciting the words and listening to the wonderful performance of the orchestra, led by Dr. Koussevitzky. I had never recorded anything with an orchestra before and did not realize how difficult it is to get so many human beings to perform correctly. But it was finally achieved, and I hope the record will bring pleasure to a great many young people in the years to come.
Yesterday morning I went to the Roosevelt School here in Hyde Park, where during the summer session many high school students are taking their college board exams. They come not only from many different states, but from many different countries. I enjoyed being with them and trying to answer their questions. Afterward I went to look at their pool, which is the only steel pool I know of anywhere around here. I must say it looked marvelous. The water was clear and sparkling and I felt anyone would enjoy swimming in it.
Saturday afternoon the Roosevelt Home Club had its annual card party on my picnic grounds. I tried to answer questions for them in a brief period when everyone had played their games of cards and won or lost their prizes, as the case might be. My son, James, was here from California and had a number of guests with him, so this was a pleasant but fairly active day during which not too much work has been accomplished.