War Against the Vets : The World War I Bonus Army During the Great Depression Hardback
The march of the Bonus Army on Washington in 1932 had its roots in the unpaid bonus promised to the vets of World War I, who had risked their lives on the battlefields of Europe.
In 1924, six long years after the Armistice was signed and the vets returned home, the U.S.
Congress passed a law granting them "adjusted universal compensation"--a bonus for their service to the country.
There was a catch to the bill, however; the money was not immediately payable, and the vets were issued IOUs not redeemable until 1945, by which time many of the vets could be expected to have passed on to their eternal rewards.
Over the next five years, vets struggled to find their footing and asked the government to release their bonus early, but to no avail. Best-selling author Jerome Tuccille brings these vets' story to life in The War Against the Vets.
The vets descended on the nation's capital in ever-growing numbers to demand immediate payment of their bonuses.
When the vets' voices and cries for justice grew louder in 1932, President Herbert Hoover unleashed the power of the U.S. military under General MacArthur on the vet encampments with tanks, tear gas, and rifles with fixed bayonets, resulting in the murder of several demonstrators.
As the Great Depression took hold and jobs across America vanished, newly appointed president Franklin Roosevelt shipped the vets down to work camps in the Florida Keys, where hundreds were killed in a brutal hurricane.
The long, drawn-out struggle continued until 1936, when the U.S.
Congress overrode FDR's veto of the latest bonus bill, finally granting the vets the bonus they had been promised after the war.
The War Against the Vets is the first book about the Bonus Army to describe in detail the political battles that threatened to tear the country apart, as well as the scandalous treatment of the World War I vets, who have largely been forgotten and reduced to a footnote in history.
With the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I drawing near, Tuccille brings the episode to the forefront of American consciousness where it belongs.
- Format: Hardback
- Pages: 256 pages, 16 photographs
- Publisher: Potomac Books Inc
- Publication Date: 01/04/2018
- Category: Military history
- ISBN: 9781612349336