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World War I veterans who gathered in Washington, D.C., in summer 1932 to demand payment of their promised bonuses. More than 12,000 veterans and their families camped near the U.S. Capitol, urging support for a bill to force early payment of bonuses already voted by Congress. When the bill was defeated, most of the crowd returned home, but some angry protests caused local authorities to ask Pres. Herbert Hoover for federal assistance. Army troops led by Gen. Douglas MacArthur drove out the protesters and burned their camps. The resulting public outcry was a factor in Hoover's defeat in the 1932 election. Another group of veterans gathered in 1933, but Congress again rejected bonus legislation. In 1936 Congress finally enacted a bill that paid nearly $2 billion in veterans' benefits.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Bonus Army, visit Britannica.com.
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