Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President on the 20th Anniversary of the G.I. Bill of Rights.

June 22, 1964

TWENTY years ago--on June 22, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the G.I. bill of rights.

That stroke of his pen was far more than a nation's gesture of gratitude toward those who in the cause of freedom had borne the cost of conflict. It represented America's intention to insure that the war we were going to win would be followed by a peace we were not prepared to lose.

The G.I. bill increased the strength of our Nation by enlarging the opportunities of our people.

The results have been rewarding:

1. Almost 8,000,000 veterans--nearly half of all the men and women who served in World War II--received some training under the bill's provisions.

2. The bill has produced 600,000 engineers and scientists, 360,000 school teachers, and 700,000 business and executive personnel.

3. It spurred the postwar economy and promoted the prosperity of all the people, including those who did not directly benefit from its provisions. One out of every five homes built since World War II, for example, was financed by the bill.

4. More importantly, it reaffirmed America's commitment to develop the resources of her people, thus laying the firmest possible foundation for the building of a free, vital, and progressive society.

On this occasion, let us remember the valor of the men and women for whom the bill was intended--those who led us to victory in war. Let us also recall the vision of those who proposed and passed this legislation.

And, let us also, at this time, renew our own commitment to carry forward the work of peace which they so successfully began.

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President on the 20th Anniversary of the G.I. Bill of Rights. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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