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Reinforcements by Air and Rail Swell Bonus Army Ranks

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

No Sound on Film | 1932

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  •  "El Paso Bonus Army" airplanes 
  •  "Hopping boxcars" 
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This news story reports on the growing numbers of World War I veterans journeying to Washington, D.C., from all over the country in the spring of 1932. With the onset of the Depression in the late 1920s, the veterans had decided to camp in the nation's capital to demand early payment of promised bonuses for service overseas. This footage features veterans marching, "hopping boxcars," and even riding in "El Paso Bonus Army" airplanes to head to Washington. In July 1932, D.C. police and Army troops destroyed the shanty town built by the veterans in Anacostia (an area across the Potomac River from the capitol grounds), further exacerbating tensions during this era.