1935 – FDR signs Emergency Relief Appropriation Act

Roosevelt signs the Social Security Act into law, on August 14, 1935. Image

On April 8,1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorizes almost $5 million to implement work-relief programs on this day in 1935. Hoping to lift the country out of the crippling Great Depression, Congress allowed the president to use the funds at his discretion. The act was unprecedented and remains the largest system of public-assistance relief programs in the nation’s history.

One of the most notable federal agencies FDR created with the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act was the Works Progress Administration, one of several New Deal programs FDR hoped would relieve the chronic and widespread unemployment citizens faced during the Depression. While FDR believed in the elementary principles of justice and fairness, he also expressed disdain for doling out welfare to able workers. The WPA, the Public Works Administration (PWA) and other federal-assistance programs created by the act put Americans to work in return for temporary financial assistance. To prevent the act from harming private enterprise, Roosevelt included a provision that prohibited federal programs from competing with independent businesses by placing wage and price controls on federally funded products and services.

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Citation Information

Article Title FDR signs Emergency Relief Appropriation Act

Author History.com Editors

Website Name HISTORY

URL https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/fdr-signs-emergency-relief-appropriation-act

Date April 8, 2023

Publisher A&E Television Networks

Last updated July 28, 2019

Original Published Date November 16, 2009