G.I. Bill of Rights
|GRADES: 9 (American History)
(adapted from information online here):
The G.I. Bill of Rights, the popular name for the Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944, caused dramatic changes to people’s lives after World War II.
This act provided federal benefits in education and housing to 7.8 million veterans across the nation.
One of the most important benefits was the educational one. Veterans who served as least 90 days received financial help to attend college or vocational school.
Not everyone wanted to go to college. Many more veterans received vocational training classes, like air conditioning, welding, plumbing, and heating. This contributed to the technological advancement of the United States. Employers encouraged their workers to take classes using the G.I. Bill.
White and black veterans flocked to colleges and universities like Memphis State and Lemoyne College. Historically black colleges had sharp increases in attendance and received federal funds for new school buildings. Many black veterans who could not get in overcrowded black colleges were still unable to attend all white universities. This would begin to change in the 1960s with the Civil Rights Movement.
In 1939 there were 1.5 million enrolled in colleges and universities. By 1949 this figure had jumped to 2.6 million. Most of this increase was due to the G.I. Bill. This easier access to college education encouraged parents to later send their children to college. By 1969 when children of WWII veterans were going to college, total national enrollment was 8 million.
Access to education was part of the reason that people in the U.S. started living more affluent lives. Whether their education was from a college or vocational school, it enabled them to get better paying jobs.
Benjamin Hooks was one African American who took advantage of this plan to complete his law degree. Hooks was born in and grew up in Memphis. After serving in WWII, Hooks used the G. I. Bill to attend Depaul University in Chicago and earn a law degree. He became a successful lawyer and was appointed the first African American judge in Tennessee since Reconstruction by Governor Frank Clement in 1965. He served as the executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1977 to 1993. For his lifetime commitment to civil rights, Hooks received numerous awards.
Objectives: Students will
G.I. Bill Website - http://www.gibill.va.gov/GI_Bill_Info/history.htm
National History Standards (http://nchs.ucla.edu/standards/era9-5-12.html):
Era 9:STANDARD 1
The economic boom and social transformation of postwar United States.
|Standard 1B: The student understands how the social changes of the postwar period affected various Americans.