On June 22, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the GI Bill. Formally called the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, the GI Bill was one of the most important—and popular—federal programs in American history. The GI Bill provided generous benefits to help veterans buy homes or farms, attend college or vocational school, pay living expenses while searching for employment, and ensure access to essential medical care or therapy to heal wounds or overcome disabilities. These benefits changed individual lives and—just as important—transformed American society. The economy boomed, suburbs burgeoned, and colleges and universities expanded because of the GI Bill. In reality, this legislation created a large federal welfare program, but one without most of the liabilities that critics often associated with government efforts to improve social conditions.
Read our complete coverage of the GI BIll, including in-depth analysis by the historian Chester Pach of Ohio University.