Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development History
50th Anniversary of First Worker's Compensation Law

photo of President John F Kennedy speaking In recognizing the 50th anniversary of the first worker's compensation law President Kennedy said;

"I want to express our great pleasure at being here this morning and having the opportunity to salute the State of Wisconsin, the State Legislature of that State, for the action it took in 1911, fifty years ago, in passing the first State Worker's Compensation law. And the leadership shown in that State on that occasion was followed in later years by other actions which the State took in the Twenties, which led directly to passage in the Thirties of the National Social Security Act."

"The first step, to provide security for American working men who may have been injured, to provide security for their families if they may have been fatally injured, represents one of the great landmarks of social legislation on our books in the long history of this country. That promising beginning has meant security to millions of Americans, and it represents the kind of forward-looking action on State and national level, the need for which faces us in our own day in 1961."

picture of the four cent stamp in celebration of the fifty year anniversity "So I want to congratulate the Post Office for this memorial in progress. I am delighted that the Governor, a distinguished Governor, a progressive Governor of the State of Wisconsin, to which we all owe much, that he has come here today and participated in this ceremony."

"And I am sureā€¦.that when all of us look at this stamp and put it on any letter, or see it on any letter that we receive, that we remember that all of us, in our time and generation, have as great an opportunity as the State Legislature of 1911, that we mean to take advantage of that opportunity and meet that responsibility in the areas I have described."

Among the dignitaries attending the ceremony were Vice-President Lyndon Johnson, Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson, and Theodore Brazeau of Wisconsin Rapids, a member of the 1911 Wisconsin legislature which passed the law.

Updated February 06, 2012
Division of Administrative Services
Content Contact: Jerry French

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