FDR and Edith Nourse Rogers ~ G. I. Bill of Rights on June 22, 1944
On this day in 1944, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, popularly known as the “GI Bill of Rights’’ – an unprecedented act of legislation designed to compensate returning members of the armed services–known as G.I.s–for their efforts in World War II. Edith Nourse Rogers – longtime member of Congress from Lowell representing the Fifth District – sponsored and helped to draft this landmark piece of legislation. Some feel that this legislation ranks in importance with Social Security, Medicare and the Civil Rights Act.
From History.com:As the last of its sweeping New Deal reforms, Roosevelt’s administration created the G.I. Bill–officially the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944–hoping to avoid a relapse into the Great Depression after the war ended. FDR particularly wanted to prevent a repeat of the Bonus March of 1932, when 20,000 unemployed veterans and their families flocked in protest to Washington. The American Legion, a veteran’s organization, successfully fought for many of the provisions included in the bill, which gave returning servicemen access to unemployment compensation, low-interest home and business loans, and–most importantly–funding for education.
From other sources:
The legislation provided for:
•one year’s unemployment compensation of $20 per week.
•loans to buy homes or start businesses. The home loans – backed by the Veterans Administration – had low interest and required no down payment.
•college or vocational training. For veterans who were full-time students, the government paid tuition, books, registration fees and lab fees in addition to giving the veteran a monthly stipend. For part-time students the government only paid the veteran’s tuition.
Check out this Army Information Branch video prepared for WWII vets: http://www.glogster.com/media/2/11/42/81/11428124.jpg