August 14, 1935: FDR Signs Social Security Act into Law

On this day in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, which was originally designed to provide economic security during the Great Depression.  Funded through a 2% payroll tax, the 1935 Social Security Act offered aid for the unemployed, the elderly, children and various state health and welfare programs.

Learn more about all the Roosevelts with preview videos from Ken Burns’s The Roosevelts.

Photo: Library of Congress

Reblogged from This Day In History


A little reminder from 1960 GOP candidate Richard Nixon that John Kennedy’s family fortune won’t be affected by any Democratic Party “tax and spend” policies.

Reblogged from Retro Campaigns

The 103rd Ballot by Robert K. Murray

The 103rd Ballot by Robert K. Murray

If one were able to go back in time to 1924, most people would be stunned by a lot of things. Communications that seemed glacial in pace, medical care that wouldn’t be very good, and also that the United States was dominated by people who believed that the country should be run by people who were white, who didn’t drink any alcohol, and, for good measure, had only a passing acquaintance with…

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We view with pride and satisfaction this bright picture of our country’s growth and prosperity, while only a closer scrutiny develops a somber shading. Upon more careful inspection we find the wealth and luxury of our cities mingled with poverty and wretchedness and unremunerative toil. A crowded and constantly increasing urban population suggests the impoverishment of rural sections and discontent with agricultural pursuits. The farmer’s son, not satisfied with his father’s simple and laborious life, joins the eager chase for easily acquired wealth.

We discover that the fortunes realized by our manufacturers are no longer solely the reward of sturdy industry and enlightened foresight, but that they result from the discriminating favor of the Government and are largely built upon undue exactions from the masses of our people. The gulf between employers and the employed is constantly widening, and classes are rapidly forming, one comprising the very rich and powerful, while in another are found the toiling poor.

As we view the achievements of aggregated capital, we discover the existence of trusts, combinations, and monopolies, while the citizen is struggling far in the rear or is trampled to death beneath an iron heel. Corporations, which should be the carefully restrained creatures of the law and the servants of the people, are fast becoming the people’s masters.

Reblogged from Retro Campaigns

This photo of me with my mom, as you could probably guess, was taken at my graduation from UCLA back in 1987. The one thing my mom was proudest of for all of four sons was they all graduated from college. And all of them did it in four years.

I was looking for a photo of a time where I was certain my mom was happy because today is a sad day. Today is the day that my mom passed away. I’ve written about it a lot. Last year was the 20th anniversary, but that nice round number doesn’t seem to have the same emotional impact as this year’s 21st anniversary. Whatever the length of time that has passed, it still feels awful.

There are times, though, when I can picture my mom standing around looking approvingly of what her children have done. I knew she was happy at my wedding to Lori in 2010. Why? Because I was happy. And that was enough for her.

She would be reveling in her five grandchildren. She would be extra happy that she has three granddaughters. She seemed pretty certain that with four kids she would get at least one granddaughter out of them. She would probably not be all that happy that people are looking at a picture of her with her 1980s style hair.

Last Christmas, my brothers and I all got together in Michigan. It is exceedingly rare for all of us to get together in one place as we are spread out over the country now. But, there we all were. And as we heard impromptu concerts from my brother Jim’s children, I pictured Mom sitting there soaking it all up. She is gone, but she is still everywhere.

When your mother dies, you lose a part of yourself. But you need to keep going. You don’t get a choice. Mom may not have been able to be here as long as she would have liked, but she made quite an impact. And she still does. And always will.


The Dodger formerly known as…

In honor of the Dodgers acquiring Roberto Hernandez, who started his professional baseball career under the name of Fausto Carmona, I’m trying to come up with a list of Dodgers who started off life with a different name than they used when they played. I’m not going to use Spanish surnames where players switch between patronyms and matronyms however. Because then there would be a lot.

My list is pretty much trial and error with a lot of clicking at Baseball-Reference.

Erisbel Arruebarrena played in Cuba as Erisbel Arruebarruena

Sam Bohne started out life as Samuel Cohen

Max Carey originally was Maximillian Carnarius.

Bull Durham (there was an actual one who played in the early 20th century) was born Louis Raphael Staub

Nig Fuller was born Charles Furrer

Sandy Koufax was born Sanford Braun

Bob Miller was born Robert Gemeinweiser.

Jack O’Brien was born John Byrne.

Danny Ozark (longtime coach) but not a Dodger player was born with the surname of Orzechowski

Erv Pavlica was born Ervin Pavliecivich

Ron Perranoski was born with Ronald Perzanowski

Nick Polly was born Nicholas Polachanin

Jack Quinn was born Joannes Pajkos

Packy Rogers started off as Stanley Hazinski

Ted Savage was born with the surname Savage, but his original first name was Ephesian. But he later went by Theodore.

Phenomenal Smith was born John Francis Gammon

Andy Sommerville was born Henry Travers Summersgill

Sammy Strang was born Samuel Strang Nicklin and then reversed his middle and last names.

Joe Vizner was originally Joseph Vezina

Whitey Witt was born Ladislaw Waldemar Wittkowski

Most information came from this page at Baseball Reference.




Pictured: two similar people.

5 Famous Modern Events You Won’t Believe Happened Before

#3. Chester A. Arthur Was the Subject of the First “Birther” Movement

When Chester A. Arthur, who claimed to have been born in the exotic land of Vermont, became vice president under James Garfield, his disgruntled opponents in the Republican Party hatched a theory that he was actually born a few miles to the north of where he claimed, across the border amid the wild jungles of dark and savage Canada.

Arthur graduated to full president when Garfield was assassinated, which only made the conspiracy theorists scream louder. They hired a lawyer named Arthur Hinman (a traitor to all Arthur-kind) to investigate these claims. … According to Hinman, Arthur stole the identity of a dead sibling who had been born in Vermont, while he himself was actually born in Quebec. Oh man, not even the “American” part of Canada?

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Couple more articles on that:

For the record, I already knew about the Chester Arthur birther controversy.

Reblogged from Retro Campaigns


On 6 August 1890, Baseball Hall of Fame enshrinee Cy Young made his Major League Baseball debut with the Cleveland Spiders beginning a legendary pitching career.

Image credit: American major league baseball pitcher Cy Young (July 23, 1908), George Grantham Bain Collection, Library of Congress.



These nerds sassing each other for all eternity.

Reblogged from Retro Campaigns