Bonus Marchers,in U.S. history, more than 20,000 veterans, most of them unemployed and in desperate financial straits, who, in the spring of 1932, spontaneously made their way to Washington, D.C. They demanded passage of a bill introduced by Representative Wright Patman providing for immediate payment of their World War I bonus. Calling themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force, they camped in vacant government buildings and in open fields made available by police superintendent Pelham D. Glassford. The veterans conducted themselves in a peaceful and orderly way, but when the Senate defeated the Patman bill (June 17, 1932) the marchers refused to return home. On July 28, President Herbert HooverHoover, Herbert Clark,
1874–1964, 31st President of the United States (1929–33), b. West Branch, Iowa. Wartime Relief Efforts
After graduating (1895) from Stanford, he worked as a mining engineer in many parts of the world.
..... Click the link for more information. ordered the army, under the command of Douglas MacArthurMacArthur, Douglas,
1880–1964, American general, b. Little Rock, Ark.; son of Arthur MacArthur. Early Career
MacArthur was reared on army posts and attended military school in Texas.
..... Click the link for more information. , to evict them forcibly. MacArthur had their camps set on fire, and the army drove the veterans from the city. Although Hoover ordered MacArthur's eviction stopped and was ignored by the general, the president was much criticized by the press and the general public for the severity of the government response.