In 1935, Francis Townsend petitioned for an Old Age Revolving Pension Plan that would guarantee every person over the age of 60 a $200 monthly pension. The pension was to be paid for by a national sales tax. His petition was signed by over 20 million people and in response the Social Security Act came into law on this day in 1935.
Townsend didn’t think the act went far enough and continued to campaign for a greater pension until his death, forming the National Union of Social Justice, which stood a candidate in the 1936 presidential elections but William Lepke, the candidate won only 882,479 votes compared to Roosevelt’s 27,751,597.
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