At first officials allowed the Bonus Army demonstrators to live in empty

At first officials allowed the bonus army

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At first, officials allowed the Bonus Army demonstrators to live in empty government buildings and to camp in an open area across the Potomac River. When Congress rejected the bonus bill, most of the demonstrators returned home. But about 2,000 veterans stayed, defying orders to leave. In a clash with authorities, two veterans and two policemen were killed. The police requested aid, and President Hoover ordered the army to dis- perse the squatters. In late July the army moved in with machine guns, tanks, and tear gas. One woman recalled her husband’s experience that day: “My husband went to Washington. To march with . . . the bonus boys. He was a machine gunner in the war. He’d say them Germans gassed him in Germany. And [then] his own government. . . gassed him and run him off the country up there with a water hose, half drowned him.” --- Shown here is lawyer Samuel Leibowitz (left) meeting with Heywood Patterson, one of the principal defendants in the Scottsboro case. --- More than 10,000 veterans marched to Washington, D.C., in May 1932 to petition Congress for full and immediate payment of pension bonuses earned during World War I.
687 Commanded by General Douglas MacArthur (later a hero in World War II), the troops drove the veterans from the buildings, broke up their encamp- ment, and burned their shacks. Hundreds were injured and three killed, including an 11-week-old baby. Many Americans found the government’s treatment of the veterans shocking. Across the nation, anger against Hoover grew. As the election of 1932 approached, Americans joked bitterly, “In Hoover we trusted and now we are busted.” Public unrest grew as the depression worsened and Hoover mis- handled the Bonus Army protest. ELECTION OF 1932 In the summer of 1932, with elections scheduled for the fall, the Republicans reluctantly renominated Herbert Hoover as their presidential candidate. With public sentiment running strongly against the Republicans, no other member of the party was eager for the nomination. The Democrats, sensing victory, chose Franklin Delano Roosevelt of New York as their candidate. The Democratic challenger . Roosevelt— who often went by his initials, FDR—was a determined and skillful politician. Born into a wealthy and prestigious family, his background suggested that he would be more likely to identify with the wealthy than with working-class citizens. He could easily have become a Wall Street power broker, but instead he chose a career in public service. FDR was highly influenced by the progressivism of his distant cousin, former president Theodore Roosevelt, and by that of the former president’s niece Eleanor Roosevelt, who married FDR in 1905. Her earnest belief in social reform impressed the young FDR. Mrs. Roosevelt would become one of his most important political assets. A fellow Democrat once said of the relationship between Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: “Any good things he may have done during his political career are due to her and
any mistakes he may have made are due to his not taking up the matter with his wife.” FDR ran as a vice-presidential candidate in 1920, but his political career

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