The Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (P.L. 346, 78th Congress), referred to as the “GI Bill of Rights,” offered a variety of supports to returning veterans, including money to pursue higher education and purchase homes. Members of the American Legion had drafted the bill, and President Franklin Roosevelt and many persons in Congress embraced it. The supporters of this legislation wished to demonstrate their gratitude to the 16 million servicemen and servicewomen who were making wartime sacrifices.

However, they also hoped to prevent domestic and economic problems similar to those that had followed World War I. During that earlier war, the departure of young males from the homeland labor force had created employment opportunities for women, African Americans, older citizens, and persons with disabilities. Later, some ...

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