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August 14, 1935


Social Security Act Passed in Congress

News Stories Editorials Advertising Charlottesville: A Safe Haven

The Daily Progress actually followed the passage of the Social Security Act quite well on its news page. It first noted that the act was about to go through the process on August 10, 1935 with a small story on the front page. Then on August 15, the newspaper noted in a very small news story that the act was to be signed that day by FDR. While the newspaper did not give any in-depth information on this legislation, it did effectively note the process of its passage on the news page.

While the passage of the Social Security Act caused quite a stir on the front pages and editorial pages of national newspapers like The New York Times, there is no mention at all of issues of Social Security on the editorial pages of The Daily Progress during this time period. The editorial pages continued to focus primarily on local issues in the community and did not see fit to mention the passage of this national legislation which affected much of the rest of the country.

Despite the fact that there was little mention of parts of the New Deal like the Social Security Act during this time, the advertising in the newspaper around these dates continued to address the tone of reassurance of Charlottesville citizens about the soundness of the banks and the excellent status of the local economy. The ads also continued to encourage Charlottesville residents to spend money. Banks continued to flood the newspaper with ads concerning how sound they were and how certain they were about their financial policies. The National Trust and Bank Company even began a large campaign about their new loan program, claiming that their bank was prepared to help Charlottesville merchants "to lay in stocks of goods to serve the public's regular and seasonal demands and thereby earn deserved profits." The ads also focused on local farmers, saying that loans "help the farmer to finance his crops and livestock during the growing season and to make wise purchases of needed material and equipment." The Daily Progress itself also began to feed the public's desire to spend, by advertising a Goodwill Campaign on August 10, which consisted of a lottery with cash prizes.

As evidenced by The Daily Progress's coverage of the passage of the Social Security Act, or their minimal address of it, the editors, advertisers and editorialists at the newspaper did not judge the act to have much of an impact on the relatively well-off citizens of Charlottesville and Albemarle County. This was an act meant to help many in other parts of the country who were not nearly as well-off as those in the protected economic alcove of Charlottesville. The advertising during this time remains advertising which attempts to continually assure local residents that the banks and other businesses of the area were still in full-swing and doing just fine. The Daily Progress Goodwill Campaign also added an interesting twist to the culture of spending which was dominant in the relatively wealthy population of Charlottesville - a little more money never hurt anyone.

Inside This Edition: Reporting on Key Dates in the Depression

October 29, 1929: Stock Market Crash March 4, 1933: FDR Innaugurated March 5, 1933: FDR declares 'bank holiday' March 9, 1933: Emergency Banking Bill passed May 12, 1933: Federal Emergency Relief Act passed December 5, 1933: Repeal of Prohibition
May 6, 1935: WPA established August 14, 1935 Social Security Act passed November 3, 1936: FDR re-elected February 3, 1937: National Guard prepared to strike workers in Flint, Michigan September 16, 1940: Selective Service Act passed December 7, 1941: Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor


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