Cool Great Depression images

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Some cool great depression images:

Scott’s Run, West Virginia. The Shack Community Center, 1936
great depression
Image by The U.S. National Archives
Original Caption: Scott’s Run, West Virginia. The Shack Community Center – Scene is typical of crowded space. In center of valley the stream is Scott’s Run Crack. The Shack is a community center sponsored by a religious organization, 1936

U.S. National Archives’ Local Identifier: 69-RP-75

Photographer: Hine, Lewis

Subjects:
The New Deal
Tennessee Valley Authority
Works Progress Administration
Work Portraits
The Great Depression

Persistent URL: research.archives.gov/description/518360

Repository: Still Picture Records Section, Special Media Archives Services Division (NWCS-S), National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD, 20740-6001.

For information about ordering reproductions of photographs held by the Still Picture Unit, visit: www.archives.gov/research/order/still-pictures.html

Reproductions may be ordered via an independent vendor. NARA maintains a list of vendors at www.archives.gov/research/order/vendors-photos-maps-dc.html

Access Restrictions: Unrestricted
Use Restrictions: Unrestricted

bonus army
great depression
Image by Anthony Posey SIR:Poseyal Desposyni
The Bonus Army
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In 1924, a grateful Congress voted to give a bonus to World War I veterans – .25 for each day served overseas, .00 for each day served in the States. The catch was that payment would not be made until 1945.
Members of the Bonus Army
encamp within sight of the
Capitol, 1932
However, by 1932 the nation had slipped into the dark days of the Depression and the unemployed veterans wanted their money immediately.

In May of that year, some 15,000 veterans, many unemployed and destitute, descended on Washington, D.C. to demand immediate payment of their bonus. They proclaimed themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force but the public dubbed them the "Bonus Army." Raising ramshackle camps at various places around the city, they waited.

The veterans made their largest camp at Anacostia Flats across the river from the Capitol. Approximately 10,000 veterans, women and children lived in the shelters built from materials dragged out of a junk pile nearby – old lumber, packing boxes and scrap tin covered with roofs of thatched straw.

Discipline in the camp was good, despite the fears of many city residents who spread unfounded "Red Scare" rumors. Streets were laid out, latrines dug, and formations held daily. Newcomers were required to register and prove they were bonafide veterans who had been honorably discharged. Their leader, Walter Waters, stated, "We’re here for the duration and we’re not going to starve. We’re going to keep ourselves a simon-pure veteran’s organization. If the Bonus is paid it will relieve to a large extent the deplorable economic condition."

June 17 was described by a local newspaper as "the tensest day in the capital since the war." The Senate was voting on the bill already passed by the House to immediately give the vets their bonus money. By dusk, 10,000 marchers crowded the Capitol grounds expectantly awaiting the outcome. Walter Waters, leader of the Bonus Expeditionary Force, appeared with bad news. The Senate had defeated the bill by a vote of 62 to 18. The crowd reacted with stunned silence. "Sing America and go back to your billets" he commanded, and they did. A silent "Death March" began in front of the Capitol and lasted until July 17, when Congress adjourned.

A month later, on July 28, Attorney General Mitchell ordered the evacuation of the veterans from all government property, Entrusted with the job, the Washington police met with resistance, shots were fired and two marchers killed. Learning of the shooting at lunch, President Hoover ordered the army to clear out the veterans. Infantry
Troops prepare to evacuate the
Bonus Army
July 28, 1932
and cavalry supported by six tanks were dispatched with Chief of Staff General Douglas MacArthur in command. Major Dwight D. Eisenhower served as his liaison with Washington police and Major George Patton led the cavalry.

By 4:45 P.M. the troops were massed on Pennsylvania Ave. below the Capitol. Thousands of Civil Service employees spilled out of work and lined the streets to watch. The veterans, assuming the military display was in their honor, cheered. Suddenly Patton’s troopers turned and charged. "Shame, Shame" the spectators cried. Soldiers with fixed bayonets followed, hurling tear gas into the crowd.

By nightfall the BEF had retreated across the Anacostia River where Hoover ordered MacArthur to stop. Ignoring the command, the general led his infantry to the main camp. By early morning the 10,000 inhabitants were routed and the camp in flames. Two babies died and nearby hospitals overwhelmed with casualties. Eisenhower later wrote, "the whole scene was pitiful. The veterans were ragged, ill-fed, and felt themselves badly abused. To suddenly see the whole encampment going up in flames just added to the pity."

References:
Bartlett, John Henry, The Bonus March and the New Deal (1937); Daniels, Roger, The Bonus March; an Episode of the Great Depression (1971).

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4 Responses to “Cool Great Depression images”

  1. Anthony Posey SIR:Poseyal Desposyni

    Six years after the end of World War I Congress enacted a bill that would reward veterans of the conflict a cash bonus for their service. However, the legislation stipulated that the veterans would not collect their bonus until 1945.

    Tanks and cavalry prepare to
    evacuate the Bonus Army
    July 28, 1932
    This delayed gratification was acceptable to the World War I veterans during the prosperous ’20s but the onslaught of the Great Depression changed their attitude. Out of work, destitute, and with families to feed, the veterans organized a march on Washington in May of 1932 to force Congress to immediately pay their bonus. An estimated 15,000 made their way to the nation’s capital and dubbed themselves the "Bonus Expeditionary Force."

    Using scrap wood, iron and any other loose materials they could find, the veterans set up ramshackle camps throughout the city. The largest housed an estimated 10,000 people. They waited in vain for Congress to act. On June 17 the Senate voted against the House-passed bill that would have given the Bonus Marchers immediate payment of their benefit.

    Having no other place to go, the majority of the Bonus Army remained encamped in the city, despite the fact that Congress had adjourned for the summer. Finally, President Hoover ordered the Army to forcibly remove the veterans. On July 28 a force of tanks and cavalry under the command of General Douglas MacArthur stormed the camps and drove the veterans out. Their makeshift houses were then set ablaze.

  2. tikanyis2010

    Talk about a shameful ungracious nation…along with the military and political leaders of the day…the specter of another, LARGER Bonus Army after WW II was the single greatest driver in the 1943/44 GI Bill of Rights after WW II; not patriotism..that was just frosting on the cake. To have a "Bonus Army" the size it would have been after WW II petrified Congress this time…

  3. Anthony Posey SIR:Poseyal Desposyni

    yep

  4. Anthony Posey SIR:Poseyal Desposyni

    ww2 made us a great nation, all fighting as one, public schools ect