Bonus Marchers

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.
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 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.
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, 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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Once in Washington, President Herbert Hoover, perhaps even more effectively than Cox, helped solidify an emerging New Deal coalition with his ham-handed overreaction to the Bonus Marchers.
Two men were killed as tear gas and bayonets assailed the Bonus Marchers.
An estimated 20 percent of the Bonus Marchers were disabled veterans.
Few have recognised that the treatment accorded by the government to the Bonus Marchers of the 1930s, who were violently ousted from Washington in the summer of 1932 (and whose claims were continually denied by the Hoover and Roosevelt administrations, two regimes that found common political ground only on such trifling and self-evident matters as the lack of consideration for combat veterans) was but one link in a long chain.
MacArthur far exceeded his orders in dispatching the Bonus Marchers by attacking the shacks built by the veterans in Anacostia Flats.
In 1932, he reported on the Hoover administration's brutal attacks on World War I veterans, the so-called Bonus Marchers, who had gathered in Washington to demand cash payments for bonds that had been issued earlier for their military service.
Given their miserable circumstances, the bonus marchers showed remarkable self-discipline.
Tear gas was used on some of the protestors, and, in the worst incident of the day, two bonus marchers were killed by police bullets.
10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- President Bush's call for 20,000 more troops to continue the tragic misadventure in Iraq, reveals a myopia not seen in the White House since President Hoover failed to adequately respond to the Bonus Marchers and the Great Depression.
Facing once again the spectre of angry men on the move in the form of the Bonus Marchers of 1932, New Deal planners set about domesticating and harnessing white male labour.
The story of the Bonus Marchers is rooted in legislation and hard times.