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Exhibition Not an Ostrich: & Other Images from America's Library

Underwood & Underwood. Western Bonus Army lays siege to Capitol, spend night on plaza lawns, July 13, 1932. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

UNDERWOOD & UNDERWOOD. Bonus Army men camp out on the U.S. Capitol plaza lawn. Washington, D.C., July 1932

More than 40,000 unemployed World War I veterans, their families, and supporters marched on Washington during the Great Depression to demand immediate cash payment of military bonuses, which were not payable until 1945. Desperate for financial relief, the Bonus Army occupied areas by the Capitol building and nearby neighborhoods from March until July, when U.S. troops, using tear gas, forced the veterans out.