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Walter W. Waters, Commander of the Bonus Expeditionary Force
Walter W. Waters, Commander of the Bonus Expeditionary Force
Resource Typeimage
TitleWalter W. Waters, Commander of the Bonus Expeditionary Force
Coverage / Yearc. 1932
DescriptionPhotograph, b/w
InterpretationWalter Waters is the man credited with the idea of the Bonus Army and its march on Washington, D.C. Waters, of Portland, Oregon, had served in France during the first World War, with the 146th Field Artillery. After his military service ended he had a number of different jobs and finally worked his way up to assistant superintendent at a cannery near Portland. He was married with two children, owned a car and a home, and had a thousand dollars in savings. He was laid off from the cannery in December 1930, a little over a year after the crash of the stock market. By March of 1932, having been unable to find work and with his savings dwindling, he was nearly destitute. On March 15 at a National Veterans Association meeting in Portland he declared that they should take a freight train to Washington and demand the bonus money. In 1924 Congress had passed the Adjusted Compensation Act aimed at reimbursing servicemen for time they had spent away from home and high-paying wartime jobs during World War I. The Act required the government to give each man an endowment insurance policy cashable twenty years after its 1925 issuance, in 1945. The average sum was around five hundred dollars. Added to this would be four percent interest, which by 1945 would result in a cash-in value of about one thousand dollars. For more information on the Bonus Army and Bonus Riot see image: Bonus March demonstrators on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Lesson Plans / ThemesDepression Photo Essay
Learning Standards16 History; 15 Economics;
Author or CreatorUnknown
SourceB. E. F.: The Whole Story of the Bonus Army by W.W. Waters as told to William C. White, 288 p., 1933 (frontispiece)
Subject / KeywordsWaters, Walter W., 1898-; Bonus Expeditionary Force, 1932; Bonus Army
Collection PublisherIllinois State Library;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
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CONTENTdm file name81210141882003_bonus1.jpg
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