This Day in History
The Bonus Army Marches

The Bonus Army Marches
July 27, 1932

Confronted with the effects of the Great Depression, President Hoover and the Republican Senate clung stubbornly to “rugged individualism,” while in city after city the workless were forced out of their homes and into makeshift packing-box shelters that quickly got the name of Hoovervilles.

The most notorious of all Hoovervilles was that constructed by the so-called Bonus Army. It was in June 1932, with a presidential election in the offing, that an “army” of desperate veterans of World War I, pleading in vain for immediate payment of the bonus that Congress had voted them, took matters into their own hands and marched on Washington where they camped just below the Capitol. By mid-summer there were 17,000 of them, many with wives and children, attempting in vain to excite presidential sympathy and support.

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Künstler, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright © 2001-2016. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.