The American Legion’s Department of Texas celebrates the Post 9/11 GI Bill’s 10th Anniversary June 23 through Aug. 16 by welcoming a multi-media exhibit honoring the organization’s most impactful legislative accomplishment at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas.
The display documents the story of the “greatest legislation,” which The American Legion originally drafted and pushed to passage in 1943 and 1944. It features illustrated panels, video kiosks and artifacts that show the dramatic story of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, the massive effects it had on U.S. society and the ongoing effort to continue improving it for new generations, through to the passage last August of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 – the “Forever GI Bill.”
The exhibit has been touring the country since its debut in June 2017 at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. It has also been presented at the 10th Student Veterans of America National Convention in San Antonio, Bob Hope Patriotic Hall in Los Angeles, the Montana Military Museum in Helena, Mont., and the Iowa Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge, Iowa.
Originally drafted by American Legion Past National Commander Harry W. Colmery in the winter of 1943, the GI Bill transformed the U.S. economy in the second half of the 20th century. Often characterized as America’s most significant social legislation of the last 100 years, it is credited for averting economic disaster after World War II, educating millions, making college and home ownership a reasonable expectation for average Americans, leading to the all-volunteer military and advancing civil rights.
Following its presentation in Texas, the “Greatest Legislation: An American Legion Centennial Salute to the GI Bill” exhibit will move to Minneapolis for the 100th American Legion National Convention.