Monday, July 28, 2008

Today In History: How not to say "Thank You".

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

On this day in 1932, President Hoover ordered the United States Army to evict the Bonus Marchers, a mass protest by unemployed World War One veterans in Washington, D.C.

Under the overall command of General Douglas MacArthur, U.S. troops with drawn sabers and fixed bayonets used tanks and primitive riot-control gas to disperse the protesters, burning their camp. There were fatalities, and a public outcry, but the incident tends to get glossed over in modern history texts, and that's a shame.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course it gets glossed over. Who do you think writes history books?

staghounds said...

I've never had the impression it was glossed over.

perlhaqr said...

Staghounds: You mean, as in "It wasn't glossed over, in fact, it wasn't even mentioned." ?

'Cause if you had the Bonus Army covered in American History, you must have gone to a better school than I did. (Not that this would be surprising.) I hadn't ever heard of this incident until I read Unintended Consequences.

Johnny said...

Not exactly an encouraging harbinger about how the US Army would react to orders to disarm American gun-owners...

Joe said...

Yeah, it was never mentioned once in my US History class this year. Thankfully, being a bit of a wiki-binger, I've known of it for a while.

DirtCrashr said...

It was never mentioned in my History class, and my History teacher was a Socialist who would have quickly grasped at it as a tool to further bludgeon Capitalism and the U.S> in general.

oldblinddog said...

I never got taught any history that wasn't pre-Civil War, even in college, but I knew about it. My impression is that the army would not engage in such overt violations of civil rights again because they no longer have dugout Doug to ramrod it.

amcz said...

The Bonus Army was covered in my History text book from eight years ago. It covered the basic description of the event and background.

Kristopher said...

Completely un-needed as well.

They paid the bonuses when they said the would, in the 1940's.

They could have simply issued the marchers federal bonds, completely re-assignable, but only payable on the date that was set.

The hard up folks could have then sold them at a discount.

Don Meaker said...

My understanding was that Doug MacArthur didn't have orders from Hoover, but did it on his own.

In between divorcing his first wife, importing a mistress from the Phillipines for those slack moments, and remarrying.

trebor1415 said...

Heck Tam, why are you surprised? WWII is pretty much just glossed over in HS history books nowdays.

I never heard any mention of the Bonus March in any HS class or college level U.S. history class. If I hadn't learned of it on my own, I'd have never known.

tjbbpgob said...

Dougout Doug is a slur that I have only heard from left wing liberals like my late uncle. He never saw a commie he didn't like. Had I been on Corrigador I would have been in a dugout too. I have never heard an 11th Airborne Trooper call him that. The second in command at the bonus army was none other than Dwight David Eisenhower a major, I believe, at the time. I also think Omar N. Bradley was there in some capacity but him I am not really sure about.

Kristopher said...

All of the officers involved in hammering the bonus marchers got promoted.

.gov usually rewards its JBTs well.

Army of Dad said...

I learned about the Bonus Army in high school, even though my history teacher leaned left he was fair about it.