G.I. Bill

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The G.I. Bill (officially titled Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, P.L. 78-346, 58 Stat. 284m) was an omnibus bill that provided college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans (commonly referred to as G.I.s) as well as one year of unemployment compensation. It also provided many different types of loans for returning veterans to buy homes and start businesses. Since the original act, the term has come to include other veteran benefit programs created to assist veterans of subsequent wars as well as peacetime service.

Contents

History

On June 22, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed into law the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill of Rights. By the time the original G.I. Bill ended in July 1956, 7.8 million World War II veterans had participated in an education or training program and 2.4 million veterans had home loans backed by the Veterans' Administration (VA). Today, the legacy of the original G.I. Bill lives on in the Montgomery G.I. Bill.

Harry W. Colmery, a World War I veteran and the former Republican National Committee chairman, wrote the first draft of the G.I. Bill.[1][2] He reportedly jotted down his ideas on stationery and a napkin at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.[2] U.S. Senator Ernest McFarland was actively involved in the bill's passage and is known, with Warren Atherton, as one of the "fathers of the G.I. Bill." One might then term Edith Nourse Rogers, R-Mass., who helped write and who co-sponsored the legislation, as the "mother of the G.I. Bill". Like Colmery, her contribution to writing and passing this legislation has been obscured by time.[3]

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