Five memorable Washington political protests

2. The Bonus Expeditionary Force

Members of the so-called Bonus Army sit near their makeshift houses on July 29, 1932.

In 1924, Congress voted to provide a bonus to veterans of World War I: a dollar for each day served stateside and $1.25 for each day served overseas. The catch: Payments would not be made until 1945.

By 1932, many veterans of the Great War were jobless and destitute. That year, some 15,000 veterans, along with their wives and children, camped out across the river from the Capitol, saying that they would not budge until they received early payment of their bonuses. Congress declined, and, after two veterans were shot dead by police, President Hoover ordered the US Army to disperse the camp. Led by Major George Patton, they did, with bayonets and poison gas, killing two babies.

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