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This day in History 6/22: The 1944 GI Bill

Discussion in 'Government Offices and Programs' started by Addy, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. Addy

    Addy Democrat Chick

    Sep 19, 2011
    Likes Received:
    It can safely be said that modern American culture began on June 22, 1944.
    On that date, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law P.L. 78-346, or the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944—commonly known as the GI Bill of Rights or simply the GI Bill. This massive program, more than any other program save the interstate highway system, would shape and define postwar America.

    The bill was begun under the shadow of tragedy. In 1932, during the height of the Great Depression, thousands of World War I veterans marched on Washington, demanding bonuses promised to them by the government at war’s end. The “Bonus Army” was brutally suppressed by US cavalry units—a shameful episode that Roosevelt’s cabinet did not want repeated after the next conflict.

    It was important for a nation as militarized as the United States during World War II to readjust to a civilian economy as quickly and painlessly as possible. Furthermore, returning veterans needed, if not deserved, government support in the often brutal readjustment to civilian life.
    The 1944 bill contained three important programs. The most famous of these was its education program: the initial bill allowed returning servicemen access to a college or vocational education at no cost. It is estimated that by 1956 (the year the 1944 bill expired) almost 8 million veterans, 51% of all returning service personnel, took advantage of education or training programs subsidized by Washington.

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