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Friday, March 05, 2021

Hoovervilles of the Great Depression

Hooverville: A crudely built camp put up usually on the edge of a town to house the many poverty-stricken people who had lost their homes during the Depression of the 1930s.

Many of the shanty towns that sprung up all over the nation during the Depression were facetiously called Hoovervilles because so many people at the time blamed President Herbert Hoover for letting the nation slide into the Great Depression. Coined by Charles Michelson, the Publicity Chief of the Democratic National Committee, it was first used in print media in 1930 when The New York Times published an article about a shantytown in Chicago, Illinois. The term caught on quickly and was soon used throughout the country.

10 comments:

  1. Bidenville?
    Harristown?

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  2. Trump Towers? Obama outliars? Bush huts? Clinton court?

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  3. MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton were part of the march on Hooverville on the White House lawn. The Bonus soldiers were offered money to serve and the government never paid them. They drove those soldiers off the lawn with tanks, on horses with sabers drawn, rifles locked and loaded and bayonets fixed. The American Government fucked over those boys big time. They are still doing it today.

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    1. A small but important correction: The Bonus Army encampment was across the Anacostia River from the Washington Navy Yard, two miles and a bit SE of the White House. Had they been encamped on the WH lawn...hell, if they'd *tried* to camp there, their removal would have been swift and even more brutal.

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  4. Bright Eyes, while I don't disagree with the jist of what you have said, it would be helpful to get the historical details correct.

    Before WWII, it was common practice for the government to pay bonuses to war veterans equal to a portion of the difference between their military pay and what they would have made in their civilian career. The bonus promised to the WWI veterans was to be paid at a future date. In the case of the bonus marchers of 1932, the bonus they had been promised was to be paid in 1945 with interest.

    The marchers - and quite a few of their families - had camped in a "Hooverville" over on the Anacostia river flats, (...not the White House lawn), and were petitioning the government for EARLY payment of the promised bonus due to the rampant unemployment among veterans during the depression. A bill to pay the bonus early was introduced in the House and passed. But it was defeated in the Senate.

    After the defeat, the Washington police were ordered to disperse the marchers, but when this failed, Hoover sent in the Army. General MacArthur was in command while Patton commanded an armor detachment. (Eisenhower was on MacArthur's staff.) The Army did indeed drive "those soldiers out with tanks, on horses with sabers drawn, and rifles locked and loaded with bayonets fixed." However, mostly, they used tear gas. Once they were gone, the Army burned their shacks and shanties and cleared the site.

    This incident, occurring during the election year of 1932 was very unpopular and one of the many reasons Hoover lost the election to FDR - even though Roosevelt was himself against paying the bonuses early.

    Both houses of congress, passed the Adjusted Compensation Payment Act in 1936, and then overrode FDR's veto of the measure. The bill authorized the immediate payment of the bonuses.

    So, the veterans did get their money early, just a few years later than they had hoped.

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    A couple of points about this...

    First, the term "Hooverville" was entirely a creation of the US media of that day. It was used to disparage Hoover in favor of FDR. As anyone can see, our treasonous media has been doing this sort of thing for a long time.

    Second, this is a good anecdotal example of why I believe all those on *our* side, who think the Army will side with us in a conflict with "the powers that be" are probably mistaken. Most of the Army - especially the leadership - will side with the government. The sergeants and privates will follow right along regardless.

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    1. You know your history. Thank you for the kindness while sharing your knowledge.

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    2. Well put, Roy. I responded to Bright Eyes before I saw yours.

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  5. First rate account, Roy! As well as being diplomatic as hell, a rare quality on the innanet.
    Everyone who hasn't should read "A Patriot's History of the United States" for a lot of stuff you didn't hear in high school. (Or maybe not interested then) It's my go-to reference for all things US history.
    It's no coincidence that Van Buren & the newly formed democrat party started dozens of newspapers for the sole purpose of promoting their candidate.
    A practice which continues today.
    CC

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  6. I should have known better. Saw a documentary years ago and apparently they had superimposed the White House so it appeared Hooverville was right on the White House lawn. I do read a lot of history but had not read an accurate account of Hooverville in DC. Guess I ought to read more rather then listen to the media. Thanks again, both of you, for correcting my error's.

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I moderate my comments due to spam and trolls. No need to post the same comment multiple times if yours doesn't show right away..