The Bonus Army - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-24-2005, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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The Bonus Army

Is anyone here familiar with a rebellion of U.S. veterans, after WWI, over a bonus they were promised but which the government refused to pay for quite some time? I just caught an interview with two writers who have a book out on the subject (THE BONUS ARMY). Sounds like there were bloody protests, with thousands of these vets camping out, and with General MacArthur sending in tanks and troops to break up the protest--soldier against veteran. A number of the veterans were killed.

Anyone with knowledge of this, please share. Meanwhile, I have ordered the book.

Joe B.
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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 02-25-2005, 08:05 AM
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RE: The Bonus Army

They were indeed WWI veterans. However, the confrontation (it was hardly a rebellion) mentioned in your post took place during the depression. I believe it was during the Hoover administration. These vet were to receive a payment after a fixed number of years following WWI (remember, it was "the war to end all wars"). Obviously, the need was greatest during the depression and they wanted to be paid early. Thousands met in DC and set up their own "Hoover Camps" (a tent city). They may have been there for many weeks - even a few months. The government refused to make an early payment. They still had another 5 or so years to wait. Violent protests erupted and the army eventually had to restore order. It wasn't a great moment in the US' history. I believe public opinion at the time was in favor of the vets being paid early. I don't know if the government had the capability to actually issue a payment.

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