July 3oth: Medicare is Signed Into Law

According to History.com, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Medicare into law on July 30th, 1965. The health insurance program, which was aimed at seniors over the age of 65, was signed into law as an amendment to the Social Security Act of 1935. The bill-signing ceremony took place at the Truman Library in Missouri, where former president Harry Truman was named the first Medicare beneficiary. Truman was the first president to propose a national health insurance.

History.com explains that “some 19 million people enrolled in Medicare when it went into effect in 1966. In 1972, eligibility for the program was extended to Americans under 65 with certain disabilities and people of all ages with permanent kidney disease requiring dialysis or transplant. In December 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare Modernization Act (MMA), which added outpatient prescription drug benefits to Medicare.”

Learn about other historical events that took place on July 30th:

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July 27th: The 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice

Truman's Memo at the Shapell Manuscript Foundation
Truman’s Memo at the Shapell Manuscript Foundation

Today, July 27th, is the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. The Shapell Manuscript Foundation’s Between the Lines features a handwritten letter from President Harry Truman to his Secretary of State. The Between the Lines piece, entitled An Historic Memo: Truman Salutes Secretary of State Acheson’s Crucial Role in Going to War With Korea, explains how Truman’s memo to Dean Acheson reflects the very beginning of the Cold War conflict.

Regarding June 24 and 25 – Your initiative in immediately calling the Security Council of the UN on Saturday night and notifying me was the key to what developed afterwards,”  Truman wrote. “Had you not acted promptly in that direction, we would have had to go into Korea alone. The meeting Sunday night at the Blair House was the result of your action Saturday and the results obtained show that you are a great Secretary of State and a diplomat. Your handling of the situation since has been superb.”

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The Foundation explains: “But the victory hoped for, prayed for, so seemingly at hand, did not take place. Taejon, after two days of ferocious fighting, was a cruel defeat. The American commander was captured; the shattered remnants of the Twenty-Fourth were forced to retreat. Truman later said that sending troops to fight in Korea was the most difficult decision of his presidency: Acheson, this handwritten memo attests, was the person who made that decision possible.”

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