BEF Vets and the Great Depression

Discussion in 'Education' started by midcan5, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    I still remember my mother's tales of the depression, when we ran out of food she would tell us they had it worse. Makes me laugh thinking of parts of childhood.

    So often when you read about the GD it is given from some odd perspective and you wonder what was it really like. I have a copy of William Manchester's "The Glory and the Dream," and was reading the prologue recently. I haven't tackled the book yet, but if you are interested in a bit of real history check out the Prologue. It take me back to mom, we complain today but shit it ain't bad compared to those times.

    I clipped a few references from the time.

    "Discipline in the camp was good, despite the fears of many city residents who spread unfounded "Red Scare" rumors. Streets were laid out, latrines dug, and formations held daily. Newcomers were required to register and prove they were bonafide veterans who had been honorably discharged. Their leader, Walter Waters, stated, "We're here for the duration and we're not going to starve. We're going to keep ourselves a simon-pure veteran's organization. If the Bonus is paid it will relieve to a large extent the deplorable economic condition."" The Bonus Army

    Prelude to Washington's bloody battle was a third march toward the White House by some 200 Reds, led by Communist John Pace, Michigan contractor. It was a routine performance which the police efficiently squelched with much pate-thwacking and nine arrests. One veteran climbed a tree, kept shouting "We want our Bonus!" until police dragged him down, gagged him. This radical demonstration, outlawed by the regular B. E. F. was important only in that it gave Administration officials the idea of blaming Communists for all that followed." HEROES: Battle of Washington - TIME


    [ame=http://www.amazon.com/Glory-Dream-Narrative-History-1932-1972/dp/0553345893/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8]Amazon.com: The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America, 1932-1972 (9780553345896): William Manchester: Books[/ame]
     
  2. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Real History from Youtube.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IiMuzkpT8Xs]YouTube - March of the Bonus Army - Part 1[/ame]
     
  3. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Listen carefully to the second part, it seems the Senate then is as useless as it is today. The cliches and the republican failure from Coolidge and Hoover then is so similar to now. Just amazing - and these were American veterans.

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlegmV5OJtM]YouTube - March of the Bonus Army - Part 2[/ame]
     
  4. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    The reaction to that by most on this board will be exactly the same as the reaction to the theft of 50 to 100 billion in lease money from the Native Americans of this nation by the BIA and petroleum and mineral interests.

    "I've got mine, so what?"
     
  5. Oddball
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    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

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    Oh, so ole Big Daddy Big Gubmint can't come across on the promises to veterans, so Fabian socialist goobers like you two are going to insist that the incompetence and misery be spread around to everyone.

    Great strategy! :thup: :rolleyes:
     
  6. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Here's a challenge read the first fifty pages of William Manchester's 'The Glory and the Dream.' and if you have a heart or soul you will change your mind. A used copy can be purchased cheap on Amazon or Alibris.

    "There is no fiction that can compete with good, gossipy, anecdotal history--the inside story of who said or did what in moments of great tensions or crisis...I think you ought to read this history and weep, read it and laugh, read it and don't repeat it." Anatole Broyard on 'The Glory.'

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s13NlsmLODc]YouTube - March of the Bonus Army - Part 3[/ame]
     
  7. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    When the Troops fired upon their fellow veterans demanding what they had been PROMISED, the heroic Generals who gave the order to fire upon US citizens were who?

    Generals Douglas McCarthy and Dwight D. Eisenhower.

    Those of you who worship at the alter of the US military as being one of organizations which will defend your freedoms from intrusive and oppressive governments truly do need to understand that typically militaries take orders from whomsoever pays them.

    About the only exception to that propensity of history and how militaries work is when some totalitarian military junta is overthrowing some democratically elected government.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2010
  8. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    It was Douglas MacArthur and Patton who seemed the worst of the bunch.
     
  9. AllieBaba
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    AllieBaba BANNED

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    There were deserters who refused to fire upon them.

    DID they actually fire upon them?
     
  10. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    American Experience . MacArthur . People & Events | The Bonus March (May-July, 1932) | PBS

    Conspicuously led by MacArthur, Army troops (including Major George S. Patton, Jr.) formed infantry cordons and began pushing the veterans out, destroying their makeshift camps as they went. Although no weapons were fired, cavalry advanced with swords drawn, and some blood was shed. By nightfall, hundreds had been injured by gas (including a baby who died), bricks, clubs, bayonets, and sabers.

    Next came the most controversial moment in the whole affair -- a moment that directly involved General MacArthur. Secretary of War Hurley twice sent orders to MacArthur indicating that the President, worried that the government reaction might look overly harsh, did not wish the Army to pursue the Bonus Marchers across the bridge into their main encampment on the other side of the Anacostia River. But MacArthur, according to his aide Dwight Eisenhower, "said he was too busy," did not want to be "bothered by people coming down and pretending to bring orders," and sent his men across the bridge anyway, after pausing several hours to allow as many people as possible to evacuate. A fire soon erupted in the camp. While it's not clear which side started the blaze, the sight of the great fire became the signature image of the greatest unrest our nation's capital has ever known.
     

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