How a Long Beach Doctor Created Social Security

The Angry Retiree Wrote the Letter That Helped Establish the Great Depression's Most Enduring Program

Long Beach, California, is known today for its terrific aquarium, for the Queen Mary, and for being the hometown of Snoop Dogg. But its greatest contribution to the United States may be something else entirely: Social Security.

This month, we marked the 80th anniversary of the establishment of the most enduring policy success of the Great Depression, the program that reduced poverty for millions of older Americans.

But all that came two years after a retired doctor in Long Beach looked out his window one morning in 1933.

Since leaving the …

You Might Not Know My Books, But You Know About Kim Kardashian

When UCLA’s Richard G. Hovannisian Was in School, There Weren’t Courses in Armenian History

Richard G. Hovannisian is a UCLA historian, chair of the Armenian Educational Foundation, and a founder and six-time president of the Society for Armenian Studies. Before participating in a panel …

I Was Once a Classic Car Show Judge

UCLA Burkle Center Director Kal Raustiala Doesn’t Dance

Kal Raustiala is professor of law and global studies at UCLA and director of the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations. Before moderating a discussion of why it’s so difficult …

Why Is It So Hard to Enroll a Kid in Public School?

California Sure Doesn't Act As If Educational Access Is Central to Civic Life

A wiseacre neighbor walked by the corner where I was standing and shouted, “Is this the line for the U2 tickets?”

Nope. The line, which extended out a brick building for …

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Can the Olympics and democracy co-exist?

It’s a question being asked again this summer after Beijing won the bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics. Beyond the fact that the International …

The Steel, Glass, and Shadows of L.A.’s Cedar-Sinai

Doctor Roger Lerner Has Taken Thousands of Photographs of the Hospital He Has Known Since the Late 1970s

Dr. Roger Lerner has taken thousands of photographs of buildings. Through the lens of his camera, structures made of steel, glass, and concrete are transformed into studies of line, shape, …