Radio Diaries

March of the Bonus Army

Nov. 22, 2016

Author James Baldwin once wrote, “I love America more than any other country in the world and, exactly for this reason: I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

Criticism — and dissent — are patriotic. In fact, one of the most important strands of the American DNA, is protest. From the Boston Tea Party, to the Republican Tea Party. From Civil Rights marches to Occupy Wall Street. But it’s how the government and the institutions of power respond to dissent that is really the test of any democracy.

On this episode of Radio Diaries, we go back to 1932 when a group of World War I veterans set up an encampment in Washington D.C. and vowed to stay until their voices were heard. It was a remarkable chapter in American history, and a demonstration of the power of citizens to come together for a cause. But, in the end, it didn’t turn out so well.

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