G.I. Bill Facts

G.I. Bill Facts
The G.I. Bill, formerly known as The Serviceman's Readjustment Act of 1944, is a law that entitled World War II veterans to special benefits. The Act allowed World War II vets to claim special unemployment benefits, apply for home loans with lower interest rates, and to receive funding for higher education. The Act was devised because of the problems there were paying veterans their benefits after World War I and the social and political turmoil that it caused, as evidenced by the Bonus Army and other similar protests. Although the original G.I. Bill ended in 1956, newer versions have passed Congress and been signed by a number of presidents that cover most military veterans, regardless of having served in peace or war.
Interesting G.I. Bill Facts:
The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) organizations were behind the lobbying efforts to make the bill a law.
The bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Roosevelt on June 22, 1944.
The D-day Invasion had only taken place two weeks prior, so World War II was far from being decided.
Although the bill had bipartisan support, members in both parties and both houses of Congress were leery of the generous unemployment benefits. The bill allowed unemployed vets to collect $20 a week for a year, or until they found work.
Georgia Democratic Congressman John Gibson is often credited with saving the bill in the House of Representatives. He was at home with an illness in Georgia but rushed to Washington to convince his colleagues to vote for the bill when he learned it was in trouble.
Approximately ten million World War II vets had used the bill in some manner by 1956.
Although Merchant Marines were considered part of the military under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, they were not eligible for benefits under the G.I. Bill.
The G.I. Bill was administered by the Veteran's Administration.
Harry Colmery, the Republican National Committee Chairman and former National Commander of the American Legion, wrote the first draft of the bill before handing it off to members of Congress to debate and make amendments.
More than $4 billion in unemployment was awarded to veterans from 1944 to 1949.
Many historians and economists believe the G.I. Bill was at least partially responsible for the economic boom of the 1950s. It allowed many young veterans to buy homes in the suburbs, start families, and contribute to the American Baby Boom.
As a result of the G.I. Bill, 49% of college admissions in 1947 were World War II veterans.
Medical care was provided by the G.I. Bill through insurance. Hospitals were also built, which became the first of the VA hospitals.
Women and black vets also received benefits, but claiming them was sometimes difficult.
The G.I. Bill was expanded in 1984. The author of the bill was Mississippi congressman Sonny Montgomery, who originally intended for the expansion to make it easier for Vietnam veterans to attend college.
The G.I. Bill was expanded again in 2008 to give more benefits to 9/11 era military veterans more benefits.

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