With the Occupy everywhere protests going on all across the country, I’ve been seeing a lot of references to the 1932 Bonus March. Made me want to go find my old blog entry I posted a long time ago when republishing W.W. Waters’ book about the march, but apparently I lost it somewhere in moving from one blogging system to another.
Luckily, the WayBackMachine archived it. For those who want some of the history… especially of how the marchers were driven out of Washington, DC by the US Army, pick up a copy of the book! Along with the hardcover, it’s also available for Kindle at 2.99
Here’s the text:
About ten years ago, I picked up a long out-of-print copy of Walter W. Water’s account of the 1932 Bonus March. Waters was one of the leaders of the original group that travelled from Oregon to Washington, DC. The book had been out of print since before I was born, but is now back.
Walter W. Waters was an Army sergeant who had served in Europe during the first World War. Like millions of other Americans during the great depression, he struggled to find a livelihood for his family, with little luck.
In 1932, he led 300 veterans in a cross-country odyssey to petition Congress for release of the promised bonus for World War I veterans. Eventually, more ten thousand veterans gathered in DC.
They were driven out. From Waters’ account of the tragedy:
“The troops stopped at the buildings in the Pennsylvania Avenue area and took them one at a time. Each one housed forty to a hundred men. The men were chased out with drawn bayonets and gas bombs. The men of the B.E.F. had come to Washington, hoping to get something from the Government. They were getting it—the most modern type of tear gas.”
While a number of accounts of the Bonus March exist, this is one of the only first-hand accounts, written by one of the leaders of the movement. I’m very proud to be involved with bringing this book back into print, and hope you’ll check it out!
You can find out more details about the Bonus March, check out the photo gallery and get other information at//www.bonusmarch.info