A unique anniversary is upon us. Seventy-five years ago today — Oct. 20, 1935 — the Gallup Poll published its first official release of public opinion data.
Here we are three-quarters of a century later, still working to fulfill the mission laid out in that first release: providing scientific, nonpartisan assessment of American public opinion.
The subject of that first release? Well, given the fact that 1935 was smack dab in the middle of the Depression, it may come as no surprise that the topic focused on public opinion about “relief and recovery,” or in other words, welfare. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was at that time heavily involved in creating a number of relief, recovery, and work programs designed to help people whose lives were being affected by the Depression. Figuring out what the public thought about all of this became Dr. George Gallup’s first official poll question.
You can read Frank Newport’s full write up of the first poll here.