FDR SIGNED GI BILL INTO LAW 72 YEARS AGO TODAY
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Seventy-two years ago today, June 22, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the Serviceman's Readjustment Act which became better known as the GI BILL.
The legislation was designed to compensate returning World War II veterans for their service. Veterans would receive money for college tuition, living expenses, books and supplies.
The first draft of the proposed law was written by Harry W. Colmery, former national commander of the American Legion. The law was intended to prevent the ill treatment afforded World War I veterans who participated in the Bonus March of 1932.
Mr. Colmery said...
"Never again do we want to see the honor and glory of our nation fade to the extent that her men of arms, with respondent heart and palsied limb, totter from door to door, bowing their souls to the frozen bosom of reluctant charity."
The GI Bill's co-sponsors were Senator Ernest McFarland (D-Arizona) and Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers (R-Massachusetts). Note: Mrs. Rogers is seen looking over FDR's shoulder in the photo below. President Roosevelt handed her the first pen he used in the signing ceremony.
Before WWII, only 15% of young Americans went on to higher education. After WWII, however, thanks to the GI BILL, 50% of all college students were veterans. Today the GI Bill provides benefits for 10 million veterans and their dependents.
"GI Bill History," The American Legion, www.legion.org/
FDR Signs GI Bill