The US Social Security program turned 80 years old August 14. In honor of the occasion AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka remarked, “For those working for a better life, Social Security is an important family income and disability protection program and the cornerstone of our retirement security. The program has worked efficiently for 80 years, even though opponents have tried to dismantle, cut, privatize, or undermine the program since the day it was signed into law. They have created crises when none existed and demanded ‘reforms’ that make no sense. But Americans understand that Social Security is a solution not a problem, and now is the time to strengthen and expand it for all generations of working families.”
The Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well retirement tour broke records both in concert attendance at live events and pay per view sales, possibly making it the most successful event in music history. The “full” reunion shows, billed as the last to feature Local 6 (San Francisco, CA) members Mickey Hart, Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, and Bill Kreutzmann together, were held June 27-28 at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, California, and July 3-5 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois.
The West Coast shows grossed $21.5 million from attendance of 151,650 fans, while Chicago concerts brought in $30.7 million from 210,283 attendees, for a grand total of $52.2 million. The pay per view broadcast of Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of Grateful Dead was the biggest such event of all time, with more than 400,000 subscriptions and online streams so far. It is still available for streaming and to cable viewers until August 2.