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"Bonus Army" Assembles on U.S. Capitol Steps, 1932

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Image of marchers from the bonus army during World War I on the U.S. Capitol steps.
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Harris & Ewing : Washington, D.C., 1932


The image is of a group of men, presumably part of the "Bonus Army," on the U.S. Capitol steps. This group consisted of nearly 43,000 marchers - many World War I veterans and their families - who gathered in Washington, D.C., to demand redemptions by cash payments for their service certificates. At the time, many WWI veterans had been out of work since the Great Depression began. 

Source-Dependent Questions

  • What does the image tell you about the scope of the protest by the "bonus army" marchers?
  • What might the government’s response be to veterans camping out on the steps? What might civilians' response be to veterans camping out on the steps? Would either of responses change if those camping out were unemployed civilians rather than veterans?

Citation Information 

Harris & Ewing, "Group Bonus Army? in front of U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.," Washington D.C., 1932. Courtesy of Library of Congress