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World War Veterans Request Bonus Payment

World War Veterans Request Bonus Payment/tiles/non-collection/c/c_057imgtile1.xml
Image courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration


When World War I veterans from Logansport, Louisiana, sent this resolution to Congress, six years had passed since the World War Adjusted Compensation Act of 1924, popularly known as the “Bonus Act,” had become law. The legislation promised veterans compensation for the loss of potentially higher wages they could have earned had they not served in the military during the war. Payments, however, were not scheduled to be issued until 1945. In 1930, veterans and their families, like the rest of the country, were afflicted by long-term unemployment and hunger wrought by the Great Depression. Immediate payment of the bonus was seen as a way to relieve hardship, as well as boost the economy. The veterans’ plaintive resolution states: “Whereas aid at this time when the average Veteran has a growing family to whom he desires to teach the duties of the American Citizen and to impress upon his children the splendid privilige [sic] of being an American citizen and the high duty of protecting that privilige [sic] at all costs and that this cannot be properly done by one who is hungry, ill-clad and under-nourished, however patriotic he may be.” After additional legislative back-and-forth and two vetoes by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, legislation sponsored by Texas Representative Wright Patman, who had first called for immediate payment in 1929, granted bonuses to veterans in 1936.

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