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• On Oct. 9, 1635, religious dissident Roger Williams is banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony by the General Court of Massachusetts. Williams had spoken out against the right of civil authorities to punish religious dissension.
• On Oct. 13, 1775, the Continental Congress authorizes construction and administration of the first American naval force, the precursor to the United States Navy, which was established April 1798.
• On Oct. 2, 1780, British Major John Andre is hanged as a spy by U.S. military forces in New York. Andre, an accomplice of Benedict Arnold, was captured with incriminating papers in his boot. The papers revealed Arnold’s offer to surrender West Point to the British for a bribe of 20,000 pounds.
• On Oct. 3, 1863, expressing gratitude for a Union Army victory at Gettysburg, President Abraham Lincoln announces that the nation will celebrate an official Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 26, and on the fourth Thursday of every November thereafter.
• On Oct. 1, 1890, an act of Congress creates Yosemite National Park, paving the way for generations of nature lovers. Yosemite’s natural beauty is immortalized in the stark black-and-white landscape photographs of Ansel Adams (1902-1984).
• On Oct. 4, 1918, German Chancellor Max von Baden sends a telegraph message to President Woodrow Wilson requesting an armistice between Germany and the Allied powers in World War I. After a difficult month of negotiations, World War I came to an end on Nov. 11, 1918.
• On Oct. 7, 1943, Rear Adm. Shigematsu Sakaibara, commander of the Japanese garrison on Wake Island, orders the execution of 96 Americans POWs, claiming they were trying to make radio contact with U.S. forces. The cold-blooded executions remain one of the more brutal episodes of the war in the Pacific.
• On Sept. 30, 1954, the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered submarine, is commissioned by the U.S. Navy. In August 1958, the Nautilus accomplished the first voyage under the geographic North Pole.
• On Oct. 10, 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower offers his apologies to Ghana’s finance minister, Komla Agbeli Gbdemah, who was refused service at a restaurant in Dover, Delaware. It was one of the first of many such incidents in which African diplomats were confronted with racial segregation in the U.S.
• On Oct. 6, 1961, President John F. Kennedy advises American families to build bomb shelters to protect themselves from atomic fallout in the event of a nuclear exchange with the Soviet Union. One year later, the world hovered on the brink of nuclear war after the USSR placed nuclear missiles in Cuba.
• On Oct. 8, 1970, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russia’s best-known writer, wins the Nobel Prize for literature. The Soviet government demonstrated its displeasure over Solzhenitsyn’s writings by preventing him from personally accepting the prize.
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Understanding Social Security Spouses’ Benefits
Marriage is a tradition that exists on every continent and in nearly every country. Having a partner not only means creating a family unit, it means sharing things like a home and other property. Understanding how your future retirement might affect your spouse is important. When you’re planning for your retirement, here are a few things to remember:
Your spouse’s benefit amount could be up to 50 percent of your spouse’s full retirement age amount, if you are full retirement age when you take it. If you qualify for a benefit from your own work history and a spouse’s record, we always pay your own benefit first. You cannot receive spouse’s benefits unless your spouse is receiving his or her retirement benefits (except for divorced spouses). If you took your reduced retirement first while waiting for your spouse to reach retirement age, when you add spouse’s benefits later, your own retirement portion remains reduced, which causes the total retirement and spouses benefit together to total less than 50 percent of the worker’s amount. You can find out more about this at www.socialsecurity.gov/OACT/quickcalc/spouse.html.
On the other hand, if your spouse’s retirement benefit is higher than your retirement benefit, and he or she chooses to take reduced benefits and dies first, your survivor benefit will be reduced, but may be higher than what your spouse received.
If the deceased worker started receiving reduced retirement benefits before their full retirement age, a special rule called the retirement insurance benefit limit may apply to the surviving spouse. The retirement insurance benefit limit is the maximum survivor benefit you may receive. Generally, the limit is the higher of:
• The reduced monthly retirement benefit to which the deceased spouse would have been entitled if they had lived, or
• 82.5 percent of the unreduced deceased spouse’s monthly benefit if they had started receiving benefits at their full retirement age (rather than choosing to receive a reduced retirement benefit early).
Knowing how your finances affect your spouse’s benefit can help both of you avoid future impacts on your incomes. We have decades of experience, and the information to go with it. Access a wealth of useful information and use our benefits planners at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners.