he 1932 march of the Bonus Army has largely been forgotten by the public. The reason for this collective amnesia is perhaps easy to understand. Details about why it started and how it ended do not fit in well with how we Americans think of themselves and our country. Moreover, a few of the people of we think of as heroes today played less than heroic roles in the affair.
The origins of the march began much earlier than 1932. They can be traced back to the days after the Armistice of the First World War. Returning veterans came home and were dismayed to learn of the differences between their wages compared to those in the civilian branch of the selective service. State-side draftees made quite a bit more than those that had actually fought and risked their lives. The war veterans demanded that some kind of compensations be paid for their lost income. During those boom years, Congress tended to agree.