Bonus Army

Feb 2008
The Bonus Army
In 1924, a bill was passed for the veterans of WW1 to get a bonus by 1945. The veterans were to get $1.25 for each day served overseas and $1.00 for each day served in the United States. By 1932, our nation was going though The Great Depression. Most of the veterans were poor and wanted their bonuses early. Representative Wright Patman came up with the Patman Bill, also known as the Bonus Bill, to try to give them their bonus.
Then, the veterans of World War One formed the Bonus Army. They called themselves the Bonus Expeditionary Force. They were known as the Bonus Army to the public. Their leader was Walter W. Walters (former army sergeant). He was included in the group of unemployed veterans from Oregon that helped form the Bonus Expeditionary Force. Private Angelo was also part of the Bonus Army. He saved Major George S. Patton on a battlefield in France. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his actions.
They went to Washington D.C and protested. During May 1932, 15,000 veterans went to Washington D.C to protest. They raised camps at various places in Washington D.C. The largest was in Anacostia Flats. It was across the river from the Capitol. 10,000 veterans and their families lived there. The shelters were made from junk such as old lumber, packing boxes, and scrape tin covered with roofs of thatched straws. These places were sometimes called “Hoovervilles”. Newcomers to the Bonus Army had to register and prove they were veterans upset about not having with their bonuses early. They had rules of no pan handling, no drinking, and no radicalism.  
The Bonus Bill was a bill to make their bonus come earlier. President Hoover thought it wouldn’t help the economy because of the depression. The Bonus Bill went through the House in a vote from 209 to 176. It didn’t t go through the 62 to 18 vote with the Senate on June 17.
The Bonus Expeditionary Force (BEF) was stunned by the defeat. Right after it was denied, they had a...