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tv   History of the 1944 GI Bill  CSPAN  October 11, 2021 1:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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apparel, books, home decor and accessories. there's something for every c-span fan and every purchase helps support our nonprofit operations. shop now or anytime at c-spanshop.org. >> c-span's american history tv continues now. .. .. this program is our 75th anniversary of the end of world war ii commemoration. that is sponsored by the department. now you may not think of the
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va as being a significant part but it's expansion starting in 1944 with the g.i. bill would impact over 12 million servicemembers returning home starting in 1945. the biggest question would be how would the us 80s veterans. we put this question to the forefront in fdr's mind starting in 1943 to 1944 for how he would help reintroduce servicemembers to the workforce. he would later sign the g.i. bill june 22, 1944 that would support housing and education benefits along with unemployment insurance. and immediately following the end of the war, literally the day after the japanese surrender president harry truman would appoint general omar bradley on august 15, 1945. two days before this was the 76th anniversary of that, to
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oversee the veterans administration. he would be instrumental in expanding the health and medical access for veterans and his two-year tenure to what we know today as the larger integrated healthcare system in the united states providing care for over 1200 healthcare facilities, 170 va medical centers and over 1000 outpatient fights here. this year more about this significant improvement to veterans care and benefits immediately following world war ii , we are joined by historians in the health administration.>> hello. >> hi. >> now, we have doctor jeffrey seiken, while it's a bit of a tongue twister the
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historian that the veterans benefits administration will discuss the legacy of the 1944 g.i. bill, one of the most transformative pieces of social legislation in us history. the bill provided education and housing benefits to millions of returning veterans and help ease immigration back into civilian life and we also have katie delacenserie who is a nhistorian for the veterans health administration who will provide insight into the unprecedented changes the va made after the war and how it revolutionized medical care for veterans. she'll reflect on the enduring legacy of the anniversary of the modern era of va medicine and the programs invented in this time any of which remain alive and present in the care of our nation's veterans. thank you for joining us today katie and jeff. >> it's a pleasure to be with you today. i can't say be there with you today at least be present . >> thank you megan and thank
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youto the community for helping us . >> we are very excited to be able to talk about something that means so much to a lot of americans and really world war ii help to accelerate what we know today was veterans benefits. so before we jump into the questions that i have for you all today i would like to remind our audience that there won't be time for questions and answers at the end of this program but if you have any questions for our panelists, place them within the q&a section or as a comment on the facebook s video stream . i also do want to remind our audience that this program is designed to look at the growth and impact of the veterans system at the end of world war ii. if you have any questions related to eligibility and benefits please contact the local va. so for the first question i'm going to toss it to you jack. what sort of benefits to the
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government all offer veterans in words that came before world war ii? >> by way of a general introduction as maggie said i'm the historian for the veterans administration, that's one of three administrations that formed the va and the va is in charge of the different ethics programs given to veterans and these are compensation, pension, veterans readiness employment which is this offer to disabled veterans to help them get job training and placement. insurance and then the two will be talking about today are education and loan guarantee . now, the compensation programs, those are the two earliest benefits offered to veteransand those date back to the revolutionary war era . compensation was offered to servicemembers who were injured during the war. and it was designed to compensate them for their
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loss of earning ability. and then pensions were offered more generally to anyone who served during the american revolution who was in need of financial support from the government. and pension programs came after the war like about 30 or so years after the war when the veterans were aging. while the compensation program was offered, those were the two oldest programs and those remain the main programs the government offered to veterans really through 19 century and world war i introduced several new benefits programs. there was for the first time government offered subsidized insurance servicemembers in case of death or permanent disability and after the war there is the option of converting that to kind of a term insurance. vocational training and education for veterans were
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disabled during the war so they can return to the di workforce and resume productive lives and they also offered extended medical care through a system of government owned hospitals that were run first by the public health services and then by the veterans bureau of 1920s andlater by the veterans administration . those werethe main benefits in place at the time of world war ii . now, world war i veterans it felt like they kind of got a raw deal. and in addition to the programs there were often also given a $60 like a mustering out statement upon discharge. from like e , pocket money to help them make adjustments but during the war, the demand for labor, wages had been high and soldiers by comparison kind of missed out on that. they did not make nearly enough so they felt like they didn't really benefit as those who did not actually have to serve during the war
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so the american legion which was one of the largest of the thveterans organizations formed back in the war and had 800,000 members really pushed congress to make an additional payment for veterans and in the 20s a bill was passed that offered them up to $600 depending on whether they served overseas or not. but there was a catch. they were given significant that could not be redeemed for another 20 years and in 1945 and the great depression hit and many veterans were brought out of work they did press conference and the government to allow them to redeem those certificates immediately and when congress and the president said no, about 20,000 veterans in 1930 marched on washington accompanied by 15,000 family members to make their case when there were still rebuffed. several thousand remained in an account in washington on the banks of the river to kind of put pressure on congress and after there was
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a clash between some veterans and others that resulted in a few debts. president hoover decided to extend an army to visit these veterans and it was just a complete disaster. and can burn down, they sent in calgary a few little tax and just to disperse the veterans so it was a huge calamity and the memories of that kind of were fresh in people's minds when world war ii came around and they really through a mobilization of manpower on a scale never before seen so people were worried about what's going to happen after the war. would it be more kinds of social unrest and high rates of federal unemployment and it also seemed in germany and russia where veterans had toppled the government so they were fearful that going into the war. >> absolutely.
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and really fascinating to see the background for the benefits and how they've evolved over the years before world war ii and i guess to kind of pose the question of the medical side, what are the organizations of veterans health care in this country. what did veterans healthcare look like before world war ii and to build on what jackson is saying what were the needs of world war ii veterans that helped inspirewhat we know today ? >> the origins of health care for veterans can be traced back to the end of the civil war in 1865 with the establishment of the national home for disabled volunteer soldiers so the first time a nation provided healthcare to its veterans. who are not enlisted officers, these were regular volunteer soldiers atthe time . so these homes were located in rural areas of the
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country. they were kind of scattered out. there was one in milwaukee, one in dayton, one in maine and they provided medical and holistic care to the nations veterans and a dome is very setting so that meant they lived there, they had barracks, they had parade grounds . they had hospitals. they had recreational buildings. things like that and it really was meant for this sort of lifelong care. of veterans. and they were located in rural areas because they were on these larger tracts of land where land was he and they had plenty of fresh air but they also were meant to keep the men away from patients as it were. sort of alcohol and gambling that could be found in larger cities . so those are the origins of veterans health care in our country and as you progress
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that evolution continues as well so after world war i you see that model kind of change in some ways you don't have that lifelong care aspect. you have a more rehabilitative model where you seek to return veterans to society after their wounds are treated. but you also still have that kind of role component as well. remember this is during the time of tuberculosis. spanish flu is happening. a lot of respiratory diseases happen or elements happen with world war i so again, you have this sort of more broad perhaps campus on the second generation of veterans hospitals act as their known after the second world war. and so by the time that world
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war ii comes around, like jess is saying this is a war on unlike any other scale in our history so you have 16 million veterans returning home from this war and half 1 million need immediate medical care. that's just due to advances in battlefield medicine. being able to treat soldiers on the spot there or soldiers who are able to survive that were previously not survivable for so you have this sort of influx on a level that you've never sort of seen before. so there needed to be a new system in place to handle this greater influx of veterans. >> it's interesting to think about. i guess i never really considered the fact that medicine had evolved so much by world war ii that it did require a different approach to how we care for that's. so i guess going back to jack looking at benefits, why did american leaders decided the g.i. bill was necessary and i guess to build on that who
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offered it and what did it do for americans? >> that's what i was saying before. american leaders were careful of a repeat of the large-scale unemployment they saw afteradworld war i . they were worried about so many servicemembers leaving the service all at once with the drop-off of employment rates that might plunge the country back into the great depression and they were also worried that there would also be tremendous social unrest and chaos on the streets so to prevent this from happening planning within the executive branch for the postwar era began after the war in 1940 where you could find it amazing and by 1942 roosevelt had formed a mobilization planning committee to begin vetting the problem and he formed a second committee to consider postwar educational opportunities for service personnel .
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heat to present his own vision for what postwar demobilization would look like in one of his fireside chats in 1943 where he said wanted mustering up pay for benefits and unemployment benefits for veterans and also some form of educational assistance. at that time leaders in both political parties and leaders of the main veterans organizations like the american legion werealso beginning to try to craft their own solutions or how we handle the mobilization of 60 million people . and it was actually the american legion which kind of took the lead. they formed a legislative e committee and one of the members of the committee was a world war ii veteran. he famously drafted a sketch of what did become the g.i. bill on pieces of hotel stationary. and initially, the member of the american legion drafted a bill of like rights for g.i. joe and g.i. jane and it was shortened to the g.i. bill of rights and the american legion launch got a publicity drum up support for their
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bill and the bills introduced into congress and it eventually took a lot of changes was molded into what became the g.i. bill we know today. it's official name was the servicemen readjustment act and it's what the bill was designed to do to help people readjust to civilian life and there are four main provisions to the bill . there's the half $1 billion for hospitals and other facilities, veterans which katie i'm sure can talk about. there's unemployment compensation for veterans who are eligible to receive $20 a week for up to 52 weeks and they can also draw on the services of the us employment service. there provided with education and training for up to four years in the government would pay you $500 a year and a stipend to veterans receiving
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educational programs and then they tried alone guarantee for purchases of homes, farms or businesses and the government would guarantee up to 50 percent of the loan and interest-rate at four percent so it made homeownership much more affordable and obtainable for a big swap of returning veterans. those were the main components of the g.i. bill. >> it's fascinating to hear about the legion and how something that started off is really what forms the basis of major legislation that has impacted so many servicemembers . it's an estimate. so i guess forwarding a little bit back to katie, looking at august 1945, august ck16, general omar bradley is put into place at the vaso what challenges does he alface when he takes on this new position . was eager to save on patrol
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because hergoing from battlefield to now administration and particularly medical . who does he decide to make this happen? >> so let me back up a little bit. you have like i said before you got those half-million veterans who need immediate medical care and you've got million veterans total in world war ii and what they're facing the va is about 100 hospitals spread out across the country and mostly rural areas like i was talking about. aand you also have a completed medical workforce because the war had a lot of doctors gone on to the war and served there and the doctors there were a little bit hampered by a kind of civil service regulations and what they were in a way to learn so the situation is kind of bad in 1945 and the press bljumped at
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the backwaters of medicine. so it's clear there needs to be some sort of change and you have this onslaught of veterans coming back eating healthcare and needing services. so what president truman does is called upon omar bradley to take on thissituation . bradley had sent these men into battle and it's very personalfor him . to ensure that their way home is eased and taken care of. he's a little hesitant to take on the job. this is the job that fdr called the hardest job in washington, the va administrator so you can tell he has some trepidations about it but really he had such loyalty to the men that he served with that he takes this role on and he's installed as va administrator on august 15 and that's just one day removed from victory over japan day so he really has kind of no time to waste in taking this role on.
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so he brings about immediately doctor holly who is the chiefsurgeon in the european theater and is personally one ndof my favorite figures in all of this . he is a very blunt medical administrator, you can tell he has no time to deal with any of these washington bureaucracies. he says something like to help with scenery, i need to find the hospital . you can tell he needs it now. so bradley and holly another va physician doctor paul magnuson to take this challenge on. even though they know it's going to be a difficult one . >> definitely. funny how some things never change inwashington either . going back to the g.i. bill, so didn't have trouble going to congress and would you label is controversial because it really was congress's approval and even american public opinion. >> that's a good question.
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it did encounter some headwinds. in the politicallandscape of congress during the war was a little tricky for fdr . republicans, he was a democrat and republicans gained a huge number of seats in the 1942 midterm elections and often made common cause with a group of conservative democrats in the south. they were concerned about the new deal. but roosevelt and the bills backers were able to spread the needle by presenting it like a new entitlement program for all of veterans. it was designed for returning veterans from worldwar ii . it was, they had to use these benefits in a set time and then expired, would go away so this presented a one-time special onprogram to help again the millions of returning veterans and also further their services and sacrifices . the funny part is the one provision of the bill that's largely forgotten today, the unemployment benefits so a
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lot of veterans would choose would just live off the government for a year. that was particularly concerning some of the southern congressman where you have a large number of and can-american veterans their states and that was a concern for them and that almost derailed the bill kind that the last minute, but they ended up forging ahead and gettingpast. once it came out of committee it passed unanimously in both houses . and i think it did garner widespread public support but there's also some uncertainty like what exactly was this bill going to do. and what wasn't clear until over a several year period where the different provisions went into effect. >> definitely, now going back to katie, so you had general
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omar bradley in place. you have holly in place. what are some of the rules for change that came enout of then taking the helm on the medical side at the va? >> really they have three major proposals that they've worked through in the fall of 1945. first they want to uncouple hiring practices from the civil service system which would allow them to hire a younger more innovative workforce that is more in touch with current medicine and medical practices, more quickly. i believe they were before when they were only allowed to hire from within the civil service system they , were given a list of doctors. they were able to hire them that were on average safety so they want to uncouple that . also they want to forge partnerships with the nations medical schools. this would allow the va to take advantage of the research and teaching capabilities of these
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institutions . also gaining more of a medical workforce that could assist veteran patients. and then lastly there are other big proposal was for an entire new generation of hospitals. i talked before about those civil war hospitals that were more rural and the ones following the first world war. but really in planning this third generation of new va hospitals, they needed ones that were closer to major population centers. because that was a barrier of access to care previously for veterans so they need them that are closer to major towns but also the major medical schools that are looking to partner with. so you have this whole new generation of hospitals being built and as justice noted the large number of money set aside to build this hospital program. and it would be the largest proposed construction project
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in american history at that time. and what those look like was the because they're in cities now they would be larger, more skyscraper style type buildings. and i heard everybody like to do some research on their own to see what these hospitals look like for each kind of generation. but those are there three main large proposals for handling health care for veterans after the second world war. >> absolutely. so thinking about the homes, the g.i. bill has been passed. what are the short-term effects of the g.i. bill and how did it help veterans make this back into civilian life? >> one, the unemployment benefits did provide kind of a safety net for them and as i said even though the billing there's concern that the large numbers would use it just so they could avoid
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having to look for work, they had only 60 percent of veterans ended up cleaning the benefits and they used it on average for a little under 20weeks so that was very successful . education benefits prior to world war ii college was generally censored by americans on the upper middle to hire edend of the economic spectrum and they g.i. bill came over night and opened the door to higher education for a much broader swap of the population. in the end about one in eight returning veterans used the g.i. bill to attend college or graduate school. the tuition payment of$500 was sufficient to afford the tuition of even the most extensive private schools like harvard . and so the college population searched by 1947. veterans made up 50 percent of the 3.2 millionpeople enrolled in colleges and universities and that number , that 2.3 million number is
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about 1 million more than prewar levels so you can see how the influx of veterans affected the population just increasing access to higher education but it's also important to remember that veterans could use these benefits for public college education, for vocational training schools, for on-the-job training programs and in fact, manymore veterans use those education benefits and used it for college . half-million used it to obtain vocational technical nitraining and another 1.4 million used it to receive various kinds of on-the-job training so the net result is not only have better educated workforce, you have a better trained workforce and are highly rskilled at paves the way for millions of returning vets to secure higher-paying jobs as white-collar or blue-collar professionals so it really helped underwrite the prosperity and productivity of the postwar america and there's a real engine of social mobility and you know, kind of climbing
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the economic ladder. in terms of loan guarantee, it made homeownership again possible for just a huge much greater proportion of americans who before it was out of reach. so the va did not actually loan veterans the money. instead a guaranteed part of the loan which made it easier for themto secure mortgages from private lenders . and by 1956 about 4.3 million va backed loans were about 33 alien dollars have been made and just had tremendous impact and fueled the growth of homeownership and also just to find housing for veterans, there was a real housing shortage of before the war and during the war. it led to expansion into the suburbs and enterprising doctors turned to land that was outside the cities that wasn't being used . that was pretty cheap to find and they start building
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plants outside these urban areas. one of the first and most famous was levittown new york where they built it on 4000 acres of farmland in long island and by 1953 the community was on to 70,000 people and it was such a success that the developer for levittown built two more levittown, one elin pennsylvania and anotherin new jersey . i mean, some were mass-produced and they were turned up quickly and made it commercially available to larger numbers and homeownership as you may be seen in the news is such an important engine of wealth regulation so it's critical to the growth of the middle class and the united states. >> that's so interesting to think about how this bill impacted our workforce, what we know as housing today. one of my favorite things
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related to the g.i. bill in education is hearing some of the oral histories about college graduates who had been to college before. who decided to use that money to go on and have a family. those are some of the core stories that you know they got vocational training but workforce training new ecology as well. so going back to the medical side of things, you had talked aboutproposals looking at locations and how to increase the supply of doctors . was everyone on board with this plan and i guess kind of like how i've asked jeff, what was the american public opinion about these changes with the va especially the medical side? >> most everybody is pretty onboard with these changes. the press absolutely loved bradley. he had wide support in the media and the public as well
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and in congress in addition to all of that. but where they run into problems again with that bureaucracy, with that civil service that doesn't want to quite see some of those changes happen. there's this dramatic new year's eve in 1945 where you got this bill, department of medicine surgery bill which encapsulates all those changes making and the civil service kind of puts the wa brakes on it a little bit. o and you have bradley and holly going to truman on new year's eve saying going to resign if this doesn't come through . so that kind of took care of it and after that on january 3, 1946 president truman does indeedsign the bill into law . it's formally creating the department of medicine and surgery with the va and implement singles changes they had proposed . >> and exciting way to
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translate this on christmas xc eve. now looking to back to the g.i. bill. we did talk about the shorter-term benefit of the g.i. bill. but i think it's a fair question to ask that all service members enjoy equal access to thesebenefits , particularly female service members and are black servicemembers? >> that's a really important today more relevant question than ever. the 60 million americans who served in the war or 1 million african-americans, about 300 or so thousand women and for women, they say certain types of barriers to ilmaking full use of the g.i. bill. for instance femaleveterans apply for home loans . it only took into consideration if they were married, their husband's salary. their husband's income because they considered their income would not necessarily on be permanent.
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in terms of using education benefits you have to be used within just a few years of discharge and expired after about seven eayears and the benefit just kind of went away so for women, many of them after they got out of service andwanted to marry and have children . they had to maybe support their husbands who were obtaining an education program so they didn't necessarily have the opportunity) to take advantage of those benefits. if they didn't they disappear and there's alsosome unintended consequences . the huge demand for admission into colleges, some colleges started to establish quotas on the number of women they would admit just so they could be able to accommodate all the male veterans and even some women colleges to admit male veterans to kind of handle some of the overflow so the net result is
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you know, women received relatively few educational games compared to male populations. and in terms of african-american, there was great hope that this would be a great service to them but in practice this was the era of the jim crow south. the segregation and separate but equal was kind of the rule of the land and the majority of african-american veterans didnot reside in south so theyface also to barriers and obstacles . in terms of education , only a few thousand actually enrolled in colleges in the north and even those often established quotas or limits to the number of african-americans they would accept and in the south they were barred completely from most white institutions so they had no choice but to go to historically black colleges and the enrollments then it can sort as a result of the g.i. bill and it went
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from 30 something thousand to about 74,000 by the late 1940s. 00but those schools, they were underfunded, under resourced. they had the shortage of training faculty and even with expansion of the numbers that they could take they didn't have enough to keep up with the demand so many black veterans who didn't qualify to go on to college were just turned away. because the black colleges were not able to take them all and probably tens of thousands more probably just work prohibited from trying and insights of the other education benefits, on-the-job training benefits and vocational schools were for whites only so there was limited opportunity and they were often shunted to semiskilled trainingprograms or lower skilled training programs as opposed to white veterans . the loan guarantee as i said, here you can actually loan the money. instead they issued called
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like a certificate of eligibility but then it was up to the veterans to find a private lender to make the loan and then there in the student loan industry african-americans faced systematic discrimination throughout the country so they had trouble obtaining loans. those big planned communities they had agreements they would not sell to black homeowners so this is a subject that needs more thorough research but very very few african-americans would take advantage of the loan benefits to purchase a home. i don't know if there's any hard number that i've seen and like i said, i think the obstacle was more on the lender side than the va in terms of considering them
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eligible for a loan. but like i said thatsubject requires a bit more research . the big take away is by being denied access to homeownership, veterans as i said a few minutes earlier that was a major source of wealth chelation for americans in the postwar era that sets african-americans a huge disadvantage that we cells still see the effects today of today through income inequality and with the fair o housing act in 1968 esthat disallow those practices african-american families were too far behind to catch up. they couldn't afford homes they were allowed to buy because they didn't have the equity built up to make the down payment to buy their homes. like i said, that's one of the legacies that we unfortunately do live with today. >> i think it's important to discuss related to the benefits and i think turning itto the medical side, as a veteran what does this change
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look like for you? how did hospitals change and what did they like look like during this postwar period and if they're able to talk at all about the experience of all servicemembers in the va. it would be interesting to see the other side. >> absolutely. if you're a veteran what this means for you is once that legislation has passed in january 1946, once the department establishes the va is that you're able to access care more quickly than any other generation of veterans in the past. and different varieties of care as well. after the civil war and after world war i hit has sort of taken a while for them to kind of build hospitals and kind of get that care going. but in 1946 once there's passage of that you see nearly 5000 doctors, nurses
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and other medical personnel being brought on to the va to provide medical care to veterans. and by the end of the decade, you have over 80 hospitals added to the va roster either through new construction or through transfer. and within those hospitals then you begin to see greater specialization unlike ever before with paraplegia, prosthetics, heart and lung, lots more specialization of care being provided to world war ii veterans. and you see virtually every medical school irpartner with the va beginning with high hospital in northwestern university. so you do begin to see that academic link as well which leads to greater research and greater innovation within those hospitals as well. and you also have
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implementation of something called the michigan plan for the hometown plan which allow that trend to see care and provide veterans care at their local private hospitals as well. so you just have more opportunities for care. for women and african-americans, you have the origins of care for women veterans and the va starting at the end of the second world war. while women have been eligible for medical care before, you really start to see it kick off after world war ii with the first 10 female physicians hired at that time so you start to see a lot of specialization kind of being gained in the origins of that in the post-world war ii period. for african-americans, after the first world war and exclusively african-american hospital had been put in tuskegee alabama.and the va
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left this segregation at the local level. so a lot of northern hospitals were integrated while a lot of hospitals in the south andwest were still segregated . and after world war ii you see calls for another segregated hospital to be available and this is strongly opposed by the naacp who would allowed the integration of the entire va hospital network. it's something that unfortunately doesn't happen until 1954. so that's sort of the status for african-americans. >> that's interesting to hear that hospitals wereintegrated . while the armed forces were not. >> so some were integrated and some were segregated
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because they left it at that local control. there was not a national policy for that . so while some were integrated in the north , some a lot in the south were not integrated . and they were fully integrated the whole system in 1954. >> that's fascinating. i guess to close this out my question for you is what was the long-term legacy of the g.i. bill and how does it apply to veterans of later complex as well. >> as i said the g.i. bill was a terminal bill apply veterans orld war ii expired and it was modified at about the mid-1960s. but like any kind of entitlement program once you offer something it's hard to take it away. so towhat once the korean war broke out there wasn't much interest in having the g.i. bill for korean war veterans. as us investment group there
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was support in congress to pass the g.i. bill for servicemembers who were serving during the korean war so the bill was passed in 1952 called the korean conflict g.i. bill. and then in 1966 during the vietnam war another g.i. bill passed that now applied to veterans serving in the vietnam war era but going back to 1955. towards the end of the korean war era so for the first time the bill is being offered to veterans who served in the late 50s when the us was not really at war with anybody. so you see this precedent established by the original bill offering similar benefits to veterans of later wars. and then you 5060 i bill the benefits were not as generous as the 1944 g.i. bill. for instance in these later bills there's almost
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impossible for veterans to afford private school unless they had private financial resources to do so . the hotels would not pay for their attendance. after vietnam when the us transitioned to an all volunteer corps another g.i. bill was passed in 1976 designed for veterans of the all volunteer force and the focus of the bill shifted from helping veteransto reintegrate into society to being kind of a recruitment , to get people to join the military. knowing they would qualify for these educationalbenefits . and for the first time though these packets were not free. servicemembers had to pay into the system to qualify for the benefits when they got out. what was in the early 1970s also that the loan of the g.i. bill were oadetached and became just a permanent lifetime benefit for all veterans.
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and so that really established that program. there's been several more g.i. bills passed since then and one of the most recent and most important is the post-9/11 g.i. bill which is one of the more onerous g.i. bills again not quite on the level of the 1944 bill but it did make it possible for most veterans to go to any public school they wanted with all their expenses paid by the government . but overall over the lifespan of these different g.i. bills when the loan guarantee program, i think the va amassed 400 billion in benefits at 25 million people and it's guaranteed 25 million loans were $2.6 million. so again, the g.i. bill just had a huge impact on successive generations of veterans and has really been kind of one of the most popular benefits that the va offers today and is one of the more signature benefits
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programs. >> absolutely and katie kind of killing it back to you looking at the long-term effects of the legacy of the department of medicine and surgery within the va as we know as the medical system. why while we're commiserating and how that impact has preparedfor excessive generations of veterans . >> so while you have the origins of va medical care coming out of the civil war really the department of medicine and surgery is the modern foundation for the new va health system thatwe know today . it's only programs and policies can be traced to the post-world war ii period and the reforms that bradley holly made from that first academic affiliation like i was saying, nearly every medical school now is affiliated with the va
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hospital. and so you have 70 percent of all doctors being trained and reform from the va so not only have that impacted the care of veterans that received but it's also chances are that a doctor or another medical personnel that you have encountered in your life is of va as well and that by expanding research and innovation from this academicpartnership , we've seen so many innovations that have helped not only veterans but the entire world as well. so the ct scan, the cardiac pacemaker, cigarette smoking patch , nobel prizes have come out of that so it's lays the foundation that allows all of these things to kind of take off and it's allowed care for 9 million veterans
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that the va cares for today and in addition to that you have the va voluntary service which comes out of that . all the volunteers in the hospital system. that's another legacy of the department of medicine and surgery act . so it's quite a lot ofthings that came out of that time . that are a hallmark of vacare today . >> it's so interesting looking back on our discussion about how much world war ii shapes what we know today with veterans benefits. veterans healthcare so at this point are going to turn it over to our audience. for their questions so if you have any questions for jeff or katie, please ace them either within the q&a section on zoom or if you're watching facebook life. place them as a comment within the video stream. just as a reminder if you have questions relating to eligibility or current benefits contact your local
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va. the first question i have is this ethically for you. what was the criteria for the hospital site outside of just rural versus urban especially being at this post-world war ii medical care? >> it's a good question. so in following the civil war along a lot of the fortunes took place near not near a large population centers in rural areas that could be given access by train or other sort of transportation as well. and then in the post-world war i period you have kind of the hospital's placed sort of near holistic areas geographically as well. near hot springs, that was kind of like the fashion at the time. you have the areas that the
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country kind of populated with hospitals that way. but you've also sort of scene some political patronage happening there with ofhospitals and some congressional interference of where a hospital is going to go that might not have been the most accessible for veterans but a win for congressman so that kind of changes them after the second world war where there really an emphasis on those larger populations near those major medical schools that you see how hospitals and arbor and you see hospitals kind of follow where the medical schools are and things like that . >> definitely so a question for both of you guys. we talked about the experience of black servicemembers and female servicemembers related to these benefits of medical care . do you guys have any information related to african-americans or asian
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americans and whether or not they faced discrimination immediately after the war related to the g.i. bill and to the va medical care. >> that's a good question. in the course of hispanics, the va didn't really track hispanics , they were classified as whites so i don't know if there's any statistics that you coulddraw upon . i feel it's more likely they faced informal types of discrimination versus statutory discrimination that african americans face h.in the south. so it was more edlike difficulty getting to schools or being dissuaded from applying to some schools or opinions on job benefits. in terms of asians, i don't think they did. because you have the e interment of the japanese americans during the war but after that, i think from returning veterans who
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performed so heroically and had such amazing records of achievement during the war, i think they were able to use the g.i. bill without much hindrance. >> i would go along with what jeff has said to on the medical side. i think on that more statutory side you have this discrimination against african-americans and not so much with asian americans as african-americans. it might have been on a different level and a little more subtle level but not quite on the level of african-americans. g>> i guess just to piggyback off that to encourage our audience members to attend more future programming and go back to some of our previous programs we covered the asian americans prolifically and we do have an upcoming webinar look at nd the at the experience of
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african-americans in this world . postwar, world war ii and the like 40s coming up with this number. for the next question for doctor seiken, does the g.i. bill pay for family members education h? to refrain that did it pay for family members education during world war ii or is it exclusively for these ? >> athat's a good question. the original g.i. bill was exclusively for servicemembers and in fact, goldstar widows in congress to allow them to draw on the g.i. bill that benefits and they were turned down initially. eventually the law was changed so that widows and dependent family cmembers could use the g.i. bill benefits. but that came later on in the process. the law also changed to allow servicemembers while they are on active duty to use the
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loan guarantee benefits and education benefits duso that came later on with the 70s and 80s. >> so katie, can you address this whole healthcare and the immediate post-world war ii era. was there any lessening of stigmas related to mental health or was it just not really addressed at that point? >> that's a great question. again, that fund is mental health as an issue that's kind of evil from the civil war onward. in terms of va medical care. and it's something that existed the entire time that there has been war but it's only been kind of more recently that it's been addressed in a medical capacity. so you had some of these holistic approaches following the endof the civil war . and you had just the very nature of erthe structures. that were sort of elements of addressing kind of some of
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that mental health. so veterans who didn't really pkind of want to be a part of society could be in one of these homes with other soldiers kind of understood what they were going through. and they lived through that together and then after the end of the first world war you have what was termed shellshocked. you had at least some of that kind of identified that that was more of an issue. after the end of the second world war mental health is somethingpaul holly is very passionate about . you have psychology and a lot of other mental health programs coming out of the second world war as well. and that's definitely not as stigmatized anymore. and it definitely grows of its own profession within the va at that time. does that answer yourquestion
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? >> definitely. jeff, this one is for you. what effortswere made to inform world war ii veterans of the benefits .>> since the g.i. bill passed in 1944 it is almost always you before the war in europe ended and the war against japan continued until 1945 and it came the va plenty of f time to spread the word about this. they printed up all sorts of pamphlets distributed to servicemembers. within the military they have kind of counseling sessions to inform servicemembers about the benefit programs so a great effort was made to get the word out and educate military personnel about these benefit programs that were available to them when they got out of the service . there were promotional materials, posters and such. just different ways to inform people, from the military
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personnel. >> i agree with you. that leadtime did definitely help with the endof the war about a year out .so katie, are there any resources or publications you can recommend for folks to learn more about the va hospitals and the programs that were developed for world war ii veterans? >> absolutely. there's a great congressional publication called medical care for veterans that came out in i believe the 70s or 80s. it's a very informative source but it's a little dry. it's a little more in depth but i highly recommend doctor michael gambon's book the greatest generation console all about how servicemen readjusted after the end of the second world war. and also omar bradley's memoir itselfis a great resource . i highly recommend. >> do you have any resources or recommendations?
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>> a book i strongly recommend eais called the g.i. bill, a new deal for veterans by len altschuler. it came out a few years ago and it was just a really good idea, to appropriate all the latest scholarships and the various ways they were implemented in different aspects of veterans and if you are interested in learning more about maybe the legacy of the g.i. bill there's a book let me just pull it aside. failing our veterans, the g.i. bill and the eye g.i. generation talking about the shortcomings of the 1966 g.i. bill and why vietnam veterans were really getting the same do as world war ii era veterans. >> absolutely. thank you katie and jeff for joining us today. i thoroughly enjoyed this discussion and i believe there that our audience did as well.
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>> again, it was our pleasure to be here. thank you for hosting us. >> thanks everybody. >> if you enjoyed today's program please stay up-to-date with upcoming programs from thenational world war ii museum . by liking our facebook page and visiting our website and as always thank you for tuning in and we look forward to seeing you guys next time here atthe national world war ii museum . >> this week looking back to the state in history . >> packing winds up to 75 miles per hour the storm brings, destruction, heavy rains and high tides causing flooding. hundreds of resort towns and
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low-lying coastal areas would evacuate by thousands of residents. three persons were killed. three chesapeake bay fishermen were reported missing. hurricane villa takes more than 22 lives as she wonders in a deadly path through the caribbean across mexico, >> .. >> ..

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