September 8, 2020

It was a hot summer in 1932, when a group of World War I veterans marched on Washington, DC. Back in 1924, these war heroes had been promised a bonus for their war efforts. However this bonus was in the form of an interest bearing certificate redeemable in 1945. That wasn’t worth much to these men who had been out of work since the Great Depression. The purpose of the march was to demand an immediate cash redemption of the certificate. The demonstrators called themselves the “Bonus Expeditionary Force” which was fashioned from the U.S Army’s name in World War I, the American Expeditionary Force.

On July 28, U.S. Attorney General William D. Mitchell ordered the veterans removed from all government property. Washington police met with resistance, shot at the protestors, and two veterans were wounded and later died. President Herbert Hoover ordered the U.S. Army to clear the marchers' campsite. Army Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur commanded a contingent of infantry and cavalry, su...

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© 2016 by Charles D. Jones