There were more than one hundred dead and wounded, including children and babies,in 1932 when US troops dispersed a camp of WW1 veterans demanding only what had been promised them.
The question often has been asked, especially during these last few years, if American military troops would indeed fire upon American citizens if so ordered by Washington. The answer? Have no doubt America, because it’s already happened.
WWI was a terrible war that introduced new weapons and tactics resulting 100,000 US deaths as well as US 200,000 wounded and gassed in the first eighteen months alone.
The soldiers fighting that war for America earned between $1.00 and $1.50 per day while those serving under Selective Service in factories supporting the war earned as much as ten times that amount. After the war, the veteran soldiers demanded to be paid what they had lost during the war years as “adjusted compensation” as promised by the United States government. Later, their detractors would call it a “bonus”.
FAST FORWARD TO 1928
Herbert Hoover, a self-made millionaire, said during his inaugural address that “the future of the country was bright with hope”… Seven months later the Great Depression hit. In 1932, there was 25% unemployment and many of the unemployed were WWI veterans and their families. It was decided that the veterans lead by Walter W. Waters would march on Washington, D.C.
By May of 1932, there were approximately 10,000 veterans and a few families totaling 30,000, who occupied what was called the Anacostia Flats neighborhood of Washington, D.C. where the vets slept in tents, barrels and some makeshift huts in almost a foot of mud.
Later, the veterans and their families proceeded to march and demonstrate to remind the Congressional representatives to keep their promise of compensation to the WWI vet, so badly needed and necessary during this nationwide financial disaster.
At first, the Congress approved the measure but the Senate soundly defeated it days later. It was during this time President Hoover resolved to drive the veterans out of Washington D.C. back to their homes. However, the larger problem was that most of the veterans didn’t have any homes. Many were squatting in abandoned buildings.
Solution? President Hoover ordered the Washington, D.C. police to drive the vets out of the abandoned buildings. As with any forcible action, it was met with resistance…people fought the police…bricks were thrown and the police opened fire: two vets were killed.
It seems that anytime there is a police action around a government capital, troops are called…reader, take notice.
President Hoover ordered General Douglas MacArthur who led 200 Cavalry, 400 armed troops, tanks and other armored vehicles against AMERICAN citizens and veterans of a war the government sent them to fight and die!
General MacArthur was not the only “Who’s Who” participating in this “tyrannyfest”, General MacArthur’s aide, General Dwight D. Eisenhower and then Major George Patton also had a hand in the action. It should be noted that a witness, then seven year old Naamen Seigle, witnessed Major Patton draw his saber and lead the charge against the mass of veterans.