1936 – The first SSB (Social Security Board) office opened in Austin, TX. From this point, the Board’s local office took over the assigning of Social Security Numbers. 


The importance of the field office was known from the earliest days of social security. On December 2nd, 1935, the social security board appointed a field office committee to determine optimal locations for offices to provide direct public service. E.J. McCormick chairman for the field office committee stated that regardless of the construction of the act, there remains the obvious fact that its administration, particularly in the field, will either make or defeat the entire program.

In selecting sites for the field offices, the committee considered such factors as ease in administration, convenience to the public, and uniformity in the distribution of the workloads. The committee studied population and population densities, it addressed questions of accessibility in different geographical areas, and considered trading zones, and shopping areas that people frequently traveled. It also considered the number of wage earners living in that area, transportation facilities available, nature of employment and the availability of space and costs. In January 1936, the committee presented a plan to the SSB calling for the establishment of 89 district offices and 517 branch offices. However, due to budget constraints the total number was reduced from 606 to 397 offices. Each of the 397 offices were assigned to one of 12 geographic regions that made up the field organization. The first field offices were the 12 regional offices. These would service command centers across the U.S. With the task of sharing the workload of enrollment so that the SSB administrative headquarters in Washington, D.C. Would not be overwhelmed. By the end of 1936, 12 regional offices were open in Boston, New York, Washington, Cleveland, Chicago, Birmingham, Minneapolis, Kansas City, San Antonio, Denver, and San Francisco. There were also two territorial offices. One in Honolulu Hawaii and the other in Juneau, Alaska.

The first field office properly known as a district office opened in Austin, Texas on October 14th, 1936. Why Austin Texas? To understand this decision we need to go back to august 1935. Following the passage of the social security act, the budget appropriation bill was filibustered in the senate by senator Huey Long, a democrat from Louisiana. Long was a staunch opponent of president Roosevelt and the social security act. Congress adjourned without approving a budget for social security. As soon as the new session of congress convened in January 1936, house appropriations committee chairman, James Buchanan, a democrat from Texas, raised questions regarding the social security board’s budget estimates. SSB chairman John Winant met with congressman Buchanan; and much to his surprise, learned that the representative wanted to cut the SSB’s budget by 25%. Toward the end of the meeting, Buchanan raised the issue of the placement of the SSB’s 12 regional offices. Chairman Buchanan informed Winant that he wanted one of the regional offices to be placed in the chairman’s hometown of Austin, Texas. The congressman made it clear that if Winant wanted his help on the SSB’s budget request that this was the quid pro quo that he had in mind. This presented a problem for Winant since the board had already selected San Antonio as the regional office for the southwest and had made a hiring commitment to the individual who would serve as the regional director. Eventually, SSB executive director Frank Bane stepped in and negotiated a compromise. The deal agreed upon was that Buchanan would stop his insistence that a regional office be located in Austin in exchange for the placement of the first field office in Austin. The final social security appropriation passed and was reduced by slightly less than 20%. Former foreign service employee Fred Rogers completed his training in Washington, D.C. And was named district manager for Austin. When Fred turned the key to the old post office building on October 14, 1936 he found a musty interior and equipment that consisted solely of dilapidated desks and chairs left behind by the post office. Three people visited the Austin office on opening day, including two reporters and congressman, James Buchanan. Fred spent more than a month as the sole employee before a staff of 50 was eventually hired.

For the complete article

ssa.gov

1964 ~ Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr. ~ Nobel Peace Prize Winner


African American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent resistance to racial prejudice in America. At 35 years of age, the Georgia-born minister was the youngest person ever to receive the award.

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta in 1929, the son of a Baptist minister. He received a doctorate degree in theology and in 1955 organized the first major protest of the civil rights movement: the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott. Influenced by Mohandas Gandhi, he advocated nonviolent civil disobedience to racial segregation. The peaceful protests he led throughout the American South were often met with violence, but King and his followers persisted, and their nonviolent movement gained momentum.

A powerful orator, he appealed to Christian and American ideals and won growing support from the federal government and northern whites. In 1963, he led his massive March on Washington, in which he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” address. In 1964, the civil rights movement achieved two of its greatest successes: the ratification of the 24th Amendment, which abolished the poll tax, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education and outlawed racial segregation in public facilities. In October of that year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He donated the prize money, valued at $54,600, to the civil rights movement.

In the late 1960s, King openly criticized U.S. involvement in Vietnam and turned his efforts to winning economic rights for poor Americans. By that time, the civil rights movement had begun to fracture, with activists such as Stokely Carmichael rejecting King’s vision of nonviolent integration in favor of African American self-reliance and self-defense. In 1968, King intended to revive his movement through an interracial “Poor People’s March” on Washington, but on April 4 he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, by escaped white convict James Earl Ray, just a few weeks before the demonstration was scheduled to begin.

history.com

 

October Awareness Month


October 2nd:                    World Smile Day

October 6th:                     Physician Assistant Day

October 9th:                     Emergency Nurse Day

October 12th:                   Columbus Day

October 13th:                   United States Navy – Happy Birthday 1775

October 14th:                   S.A.V.E. Day (Stop American Violence Everywhere)

October 16th:                   Bosses Day

October 17th:                   Sweetest Day

October 24th:                   Make A Difference Day

October 31st:                   Halloween

October 4-10:                   Mental Illness Awareness Week  (Green)

October 5-9:                     Customer Service Week

October 18-24:                 Invisible Disabilities Awareness Week (Purple)

October 19-25:                 Male Breast Cancer Awareness Week (Pink-Blue)

October 23-31:                 Red Ribbon Week  (Red)

October 31-November 2:             Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos)

Breast Cancer Awareness Month  (Pink)

Fire Prevention Awareness Month  (Thin Red Line)

Domestic Violence Awareness Month  (Purple)

Down Syndrome Awareness Month  (Blue-Yellow)

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month  (Pink-Blue)

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month  (Pink-Blue)

National Bullying Prevention Month  (Blue)

Liver Cancer Awareness Month  (Green)

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