Found in the Archives

FDR and the GI Bill of Rights

FDR Signs GI Bill

FDR signs the G.I. Bill in the Oval Office, with (l to r) Bennett “Champ” Clark, J. Hardin Peterson, John Rankin, Paul Cunningham, Edith N. Rogers, J.M. Sullivan, Walter George, John Stelle, Robert Wagner, (unknown), and Alben Barkley; June 22, 1944. FDR Library Photo Collection, NPx 64-269.

June 22 marks the 68th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more popularly known as the GI Bill of Rights. Although World War II was far from over, FDR was determined to plan ahead for a smooth transition to peace, both abroad and at home. The President proposed to Congress a way to level the economic impact of the war’s end and to integrate returning veterans back into American society.

The result was the GI Bill. Now widely credited with creating the post-war middle class, the GI Bill of Rights provided returning veterans with educational benefits, work training, hiring preferences, and subsidized loans for buying homes, businesses and farms. It continues today to be one of the lasting legacies of the Roosevelt administration.

Draft Signing Statement

Draft of President Roosevelt’s statement upon signing the GI Bill into law

Signed GI Bill

Signed copy of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944

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2 Responses to Found in the Archives

  1. Chris says:

    Yes, thank you for that.

    Too little is known today about FDR’s determination to avoid the unemployment and other economic problems that followed World War One.

    It was actually early in WWII that FDR began focusing on how to provide a better plan for the aftermath of the war than had followed other wars.

    Because of FDR’s vision, intelligence and empathy, millions of veterans were able to go to college, start a business and buy a home with no down payment and low interest rates.

    Because of FDR’s vision, intelligence and empathy, millions of people had a better life in the decades following the war than they had ever thought possible.

    Like

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