June 22, 1944 ~ The G.I. Bill of Rights
Today in 1944, the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, commonly known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, was signed into law.
Harry W. Colmery, a former National Commander of the American Legion, is credited with writing the first draft of the G.I. Bill.
The bill that President Roosevelt initially proposed had a means test, but Colmery’s American Legion proposal provided full benefits for all veterans, including women and minorities, regardless of their wealth.
An important provision of the G.I. Bill was low interest, zero down payment home loans for servicemen, with more favorable terms for new construction compared to existing housing. This encouraged millions of American families to move out of urban apartments and into suburban homes.
By 1956, roughly 7.8 million veterans had used the G.I. Bill education benefits, some 2.2 million to attend colleges or universities and an additional 5.6 million for some kind of training program
The original G.I. Bill ended in 1956. but subsequent plans and programs are still referred to as G.I. Bill to this day.