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Social Security and You -- A 1950s Video Explainer

(Archive.org)

In 1950, President Truman signed into law amendments to the Social Security Act, which greatly increased the scope of the program. Old age and survivor insurance was extended to 10 million more Americans, and benefits were made available to certain self-employed workers. It was a complex piece of legislation that affected every working person in the United States. How could the government explain these new provisions in a cheery and straightforward manner?

The following video, with the help of a cartoon Uncle Sam, hard-working Americans, and Margaret Oliver, the social security representative "you ought to meet," breaks down how citizens pay into the system and receive benefits.

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