the Bonus Marchers retreated and dispersed. In the end, four people were reported dead, 54 injured, and 135 arrested.
While the efforts of these veterans failed, this and other events led Congress to override President Theodore Roosevelt‟s veto in 1936 to give WWI veterans their promised bonus 10 years early. Just eight years later, the general disapproval of the treatment of veterans would contribute to the passage of the GI Bill of Rights in 1944, which thereafter provided support for veterans of wars.
Theodor Horydczak Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress
Another noteworthy event that perhaps heralded future racial tensions occurred on the flats in June 1949, when reportedly about 50 local black children attempted to enter the previously all-white Anacostia swimming pool. The manager responded by closing the pool an hour after it had opened. Two days later a
group of allegedly 30 black youths went to the Anacostia pool. A fight began in the shower room and one black boy‟s nose was broken and another youth of unspecified race received a cut over his eye. After the U.S. Park Police arrived and broke up the fight, the black youngsters left the pool. Department of the Interior Secretary Julius Krug ordered the pool closed until further notice. The pool was reopened to all citizens in 1950.
Anacostia Park Pool Demonstrators, Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post
5 FAIRLAWN: From the Flats to the Heights