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The G.I. Bill

The G.I. Bill

On July 28, 1943, in his Fireside Chat 25, President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid out what he believed returning servicemen were entitled to when they came home from World War II. His conditions became the basis for the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act, known informally as the G.I. Bill, which Congress passed in 1944. The bill gave benefits to returning veterans that stimulated the postwar economy. Honorally-discharged veterans could receive unemployment compensation for up to a year, attend college or vocational school, and receive loans to start their own businesses or buy homes. The G.I. Bill has been amended and expanded and is still in existence today.

Click here to read and listen to Roosevelt's full Fireside Chat 25.→

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Audio TranscriptFranklin D. Roosevelt was the 32nd President of the United States, 1933-1945.

Biographical sketch from American President.

 

Audio TranscriptHarry W. Colmery, World War I veteran and past National Commander of the American Legion, wrote a first draft of the G.I. Bill.

Biographical sketch from the Kansas Historical Society .

 

Audio TranscriptErnest McFarland, Democratic Senator from Arizona, is considered a "Father of the G.I. Bill."

Biographical sketch from the United States Senate .

 

Warren Atherton, National Commander of the American Legion, is also considered a "Father of the G.I. Bill."

Biographical sketch from the Online Archive of California, University of the Pacific.

Audio TranscriptEdith Nourse Rogers, Republican Congresswoman from Massachusetts’s 5th district, helped to draft and co-sponsored the G.I. Bill

Biographical sketch from Women in Congress.

 

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Born of Controversy: The G.I. Bill of Rights, Department of Veterans Affairs.
Letter from Warren H. Atherton to Harry Colmery, asking him to serve on a committee to look at veterans benefits, Kansas Historical Society. This committee ultimately drafted and advocated for the adoption of the G.I. Bill of Rights.
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