The G.I. Bill
On June 22, 1944, President Roosevelt signed The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more commonly known as the G.I. Bill into law. Kansan Harry W. Colmery, an attorney from Topeka and former national commander of the American Legion, wrote the initial proposal for the bill longhand on stationery and napkins while staying in the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. His goal was to avoid a similar situation to that which veterans returning from World War I faced – namely unemployment, poverty and destitution. With the help of Senator Ernest McFarland, Warren Atherton and Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers, the bill was introduced in the House and then Senate on Jan. 10, 1944, and both passed their own versions of the bill shortly thereafter.
This ground-breaking legislation provided a wide range of benefits for World War II veterans including tuition to pursue an education, low-cost mortgages, loans to start a business, and living expenses as well as one year of unemployment compensation. The G.I. Bill was available to all veterans who served at least 90 days of active-duty service and received any discharge aside from dishonorable. Within 12 years, more than 2 million veterans used their G.I. Bill to attend colleges or universities. An additional 6 million used their benefits for vocational, on-the-job and apprenticeship training programs.
Since the original law, the bill has been modified four times to remedy previous issues and include additional benefits for veterans of subsequent wars, as well as those who served during peacetime. To date, more than 20 million veterans have utilized the G.I. Bill to ease their transition back into the civilian world.
A Well-Deserved Honor
The G.I. Bill gave our nation’s military heroes the chance to be as victorious at home as they were overseas. Shouldn’t its author be recognized? It only takes a minute to show your support. Join with Grantham University to take action today!
In its 70-year history, the G.I. Bill has transformed the United States socially and economically, according to this informative video on the History of the G.I. Bill from the Veterans Health Administration. It has been said that the GI Bill is one of the most significant pieces of legislation ever passed by Congress.