lossy-page1-1280px-Shacks,_put_up_by_the_Bonus_Army_on_the_Anacostia_flats,_Washington,_DC,_burning_after_the_battle_with_the_military,_193_-_NARA_-_531102.tifOn this date in 1932 the Bonus Army started to gather in Washington D.C. to demand the cash payment of the bonus promised them for their service in World War I. Passed in 1924, the World War Adjusted Compensation Act awarded each veteran a bonus plus interest to be paid in 1945. With the collapse of the American and world economies in the late 1920’s many veterans were out of work. Walter W. Waters, a former Army sergeant organized a march on Washington to seek an immediate payout to help the veterans survive the economic catastrophe.  They established a camp that by July swelled to 43,000 people including 26,000 women and children. On July 28th, President Hoover ordered the Army to remove the encampment. General Douglas MacArthur was in charge of the operation and Major George Patton commanded six battle tanks for the operation. The Army moved in with Infantry with fixed bayonets and tear gas supported by the tanks. They proceeded to crush and burn the camp. 4 veterans were killed and 1,017 were injured.

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