Army

May 24, 2012

Military Intelligence — this week in history May 24, 2012

Fort Huachuca Command History Office

Corps of Intelligence Police infiltrates Bonus Marchers

May 24, 1932

Bonus Veterans of the Bonus Expeditionary Forces at the Capitol

In 1932 the nation was in the midst of the Great Depression. Political tensions grew daily, as people grew more and more desperate and frustrated.

In May, a band of jobless veterans of World War I marched into Washington demanding early payment of the bonuses Congress had promised them for their service in the War. The bonuses were not supposed to be paid until 1945.

The group called themselves the “Bonus Expeditionary Forces,” but became known simply as the “Bonus Marchers.” The unofficial leader of the Marchers, Walter Walters, himself an out-of-work former Army sergeant, tried to maintain order while the group waited for legislation to pass, but by the end of June the movement had swelled to 20,000 tired, hungry, frustrated men who were getting no relief.

Meanwhile, the fear of a communist conspiracy to undermine the government of the United States was also increasing. Then Chief of Staff of the Army, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, was convinced that “the movement was actually far deeper and more dangerous than an effort to secure funds from a nearly depleted federal treasury.” He wasn’t about to sit idly by under this “attack.”

On May 25, 1932, a secret War Department memorandum was sent out to all Corps area intelligence officers directing them to investigate and report regularly concerning “bonus demonstrations by veterans.”

At the same time, the Military Intelligence Division began sending a daily memorandum to the chief of staff describing the current status of the bonus marcher situation within the Nation’s capital. The political implication of the U.S. collecting information on its own civilian population, particularly its veterans, was potentially explosive.

Eventually, MacArthur, acting on orders from the White House, cleared the area using mounted Army troops with sabers and tear gas, leaving behind images of fires and refugee veterans that hit all major news headlines the next morning.

President Herbert Hoover was much criticized for the severity of his eviction and his perceived insensitivity to the plight of the veterans and the nation’s poor. The veterans got their bonuses, four years later. The average check per veteran was about $580; ultimately, nearly $2 billion was distributed to three million World War I veterans.

“This Week in History” is a feature on the Command History Office website.

Those with AKO access can go to https://ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_history/.

To learn more about the 2012 MI Branch and Corps Commemoration, go to the public website, https://www.ikn.army.mil/apps/mi_comm/.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Julianne E. Cochran

Help wanted: Enlisted aides in valued roles for Army leaders

Julianne E. Cochran An Enlisted Aide Training Course instructor shows a student the specifics of setting up a general officer’s uniform during a practical exercise. WASHINGTON – Enlisted aides are considered an elite group ...
 
 

CWFC supports Fort’s civilian employees

Fort Huachuca’s Civilian Welfare Fund Council (CWFC) uses the money derived from vending machines to support federal employees. Each month a percentage of the money from post snack and soda vending machines goes into a secured CWFC account to provide morale and recreational activities to civilian employees. According to Carmen Chastain, CWFC president, these activities...
 
 
Photo courtesy of Richard Grosinsky

Hunter unmanned aircraft system ends history here, leaves long legacy

Photo courtesy of Richard Grosinsky From that first Hunter unmanned aircraft system training class that graduated here April 27, 1992, to its final flight here July 10, Fort Huachuca’s UAS program continues to build on the vi...
 

 

Official participation in #GiveThem20 campaign not authorized

The Office of the Judge Advocate General has been notified by the DOD Standards of Conduct Office about an online social media campaign titled”#GiveThem20.” The action is supported by, and draws attention to, a national nonprofit organization called American Corporate Partners. The campaign is online at GiveThem20.org. The campaign proposes video recording yourself or a...
 
 

OPM announces steps to protect federal workers, others from cyber threats

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced July 15 the results of the interagency forensics investigation into a recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data and the steps it is taking to protect those impacted. Throughout this investigation, OPM has been committed to providing information in a timely, transparent and accurate...
 
 
U.S. Army photo

Military Intelligence – Moment in MI history

Maj. Gen. Ralph Van Deman – Namesake of the East Gate U.S. Army photo Maj. Gen. Paul Menoher, commander of the US Army Intelligence Center, and Command Sgt. Maj. Art Johnson unveil the memorialization plaque at the Van Deman ...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>