Roosevelt signing the Social Security Act (August 14, 1935)

rooseveltThis black and white photograph shows President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, seated, signing the Social Security Act into law on August 14, 1935.  The event occurred in the White house and Roosevelt is surrounded by a number of individuals who are standing.  The woman behind Roosevelt is Francis Perkins, Secretary of Labor (first female cabinet member and only cabinet member who stayed throughout Roosevelt’s administration).

Most likely this photograph made it into the Library’s collection via a general mailing from the Social Security Administration’s 50th anniversary (1985) celebration.

28 Responses

  1. I have the original photograph sent to my uncle and it reads I wanted you to have this original photograph of my father signing the Social security Act on August 14, 1935 sign jim roosevelt

    • Are you confident that this is the original photograph? I have the same photo with Jim Roosevelt’s note on the backside identifying the occasion and have always assumed this was a copy. It was found in my wife’s mother’s belongings when she died 10 years ago at the age of 107. Thanks for any comments on this.

    • I have just completed a book on the complete history of the 1930’s and am working with a publisher. May I use your photo for my book? The Social Security Act was one of the greatest gifts to our country. I have a sufficient copy of the picture for the book. I just would like your blessing.

      Thank you for your consideration,

      John D. Forlini

  2. I have the same photo with the same writing on the back. Don`t believe it to be an original

  3. I have the same photo with the same writing as well. The writing is in a blue marker. I found it in my Grandmother’s things. She will be 99 yo in March.

  4. We recently found the same photo with the same annotation on the back in blue marker in my grandfather’s belongings (he was 91). I will now assume it was the “mass mailing” photo sent out in 1985 for the 50th anniversary of SS.

  5. I have the same picture with the blue print that my 97 year old mother had in her belongings and I beleave it;s older than 1985. She got it from her brother who was dead by 1985.

  6. So I guess this isn’t worth anything?

  7. I have the same one sent to my great grandmother. signed by Jim Roosevelt

  8. My husband and I belong to a book club. We met today and one of the members had this same photograph. I asked the owner where he got the photo. He said his parents sent away for it. I don’t know if it has any writing on the back as the photo was framed. I’ll have to ask him to check the back. Very interesting.

  9. What if I have a copy of the photo, but no writing on the back?

  10. I have one also I recently purchased in a frame at a thrift store just has a date on the back 7-1-85 I have been wondering if it might be an original. If anyone has an idea please leave a post..thank you

  11. I have original picture

  12. does anyone know names of others in the picture?

  13. I live in Phoenix, AZ. I bought a house in an old historic district and found this picture in my garage wrapped in plastic. My searching brought me to this page and it’s great to have an idea of why it was sent, but my photo has none of the writing on the back as some of you described. Thanks for the info!

  14. Most of the older ones are original copies. They are usually signed I want you to have this original copy of My father signing the ss act. Best wishes, Jim Roosevelt. Mine was given to my aunt by Jim whe she worked for civil service in the 50s. It’s retail value is 125. And replacement is 200.

    • I have the photo with blue writing signed by Jim You said its worth $125 how do I go about selling my copy ? Thanks

      • I don’t think I ever said how much the photo might be worth. It is worth what nay individual is willing to pay for it. Try ebay and Craig’s list. I looked on ebay and it looks like a lot of people have it. I didn’ see many bids.

        Louise Sandberg, Special Collections
        Lawrence Public Library
        51 Lawrence Street
        Lawrence, MA 01841
        FAX 978-722-9540

  15. How would we be able to tell if an original copy from the 50’s or from the SS administration mass mailing for the anniversary?

  16. I have same photo found with my grandmothers pictures along with the S.S Tufts Vicotory ship in San Francisco Bay and a photo post card of a Beecon on May 12th, 1937 (people in front wood for a bonefire) Would like to know more about these photo’s.

  17. I have the post card size with the same writing on the back and also have the original picture in black and white and it is an original 9×11 photograph.

    • I also have a copy of the Social Security Act signed by Jim Roosevelt on the back it says I wanted you to have this copy of the original photograph of my father signing the Social Security Act on August 14th 1935
      …. Jim Roosevelt
      How.much is it worth amd how do I go about selling it.

  18. Found a copy in folder with collection of old stamps dating from 1920s thru 1964 ( maybe one as late as ’78) . The photo has a hand written date on back August 14 1935. It shows signs on the back of having been attached by some kind of tape , perhaps to inside of frame? Is it possible this might date from the actual signing period and if so how might someone have received it then? Thanks for any help!

  19. I have an original photo of this signed by Jim Roosevelt .It looks does have the blue writing and signature.

  20. I have a copy of the president Roosevelt signing the social security act on August 14, 1935 . SIGN on back of photograph and a letter by Jim Roosevelt his son.

  21. I have a copy of this picture signed by Roosevelt’s son, does it have any value?

  22. Is it worth anything?

    Sincerely, Sandra Miller

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