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Wayback Wednesday: FDR signs G.I. Bill

On this day in 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill of Rights into law. The bill, which is still in effect today,  provided benefits for servicemen and women returning home from World War II.

Included in the package were low interest mortgages and business loans, and free tuition along with room and board for those interested in attending a college or vocational school. It also kicked in one year of unemployment benefits for returning soldiers.

The G.I. Bill has been viewed as a success by historians since its implementation because it helped transition millions of Americans back into civilian life following the war and provided a path to long-term economic security for those who took full advantage.

Here's an odd, and somewhat endearing, government made film meant to explain the concept of the G.I. Bill of Rights to the soldiers, sailors and airmen of World War II.

By the mid 1950's its estimated that more than two million World War II veterans had used the GI Bill for education at colleges and universities, and more than five million more used it to gain vocational training.

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Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›