indicated that 55 percent of Americans favored theearly bonus payments, enthusiasm for America’sparticipation in the Great War had faded,especially on college campuses where anti-warsentiments ran strong and deep. Those sentimentswere fed by congressional hearings documentingthe nation’s huge financial entanglement in thewar, by muckraking books such as The Road toWar and Merchants of Death, and by ominousstorm clouds forming in Europe. In 1934 some25,000 college students staged a nationwide strikeagainst war, and the following year more than
175,000 students joined in a similar strike.
It was against thisbackground thatLewis Gorin andfellow Princetonstudents issued themanifesto of theVeterans of FutureWars. On March 13,1936, Gorin and hisroommate, UrbanJoseph PetersRushton, had goneto a movie beforewhich they saw anewsreel report onthe bonus paymentsto the veterans.Gorin was in hisfinal semester asa political sciencemajor at Princeton.
He was incensedthat in a timeof widespreadhardship a specialinterest group like the VFWhad used its chest-thumping patriotism to extortfavorable treatment from Congress. After themovie while the two friends were sitting in Viedt’sChocolate Shoppe, Gorin used a napkin to writeout the manifesto of what he called the Veteransof Future Wars:
The Veterans of Future Wars have unitedto force upon the government and peopleof the United States the realization thatcommon justice demands that all of uswho will be engaged in the coming wardeserve, as is customary, an adjustedservice compensation, sometimes calleda bonus. We demand that this bonusbe one thousand dollars, payable June1, 1965. Because it is customary to paybonuses before they are due we demandimmediate cash payment, plus three percent compounded annually for thirtyyears back from June 1, 1965, to June 1,1935. All those of military age, that is,from 18 to 36, are eligible to receive thisbonus. It is but common right that thisbonus be paid now, for many will be killedor wounded in the next war, and hencethey, the most deserving, will not get thefull benefit of their country’s gratitude.For the realization of these just demands,we mutually pledge our undivided andsupreme efforts. “Soldiers of America,Unite! You have nothing to lose.”
Rushton took the napkin, and on the way back tohis room ran into Penn Kimball, editor of the DailyPrincetonian, who needed copy for the studentnewspaper. The manifesto of the Veterans of FutureWars was published in the Daily Princetonianthe next day. That might have been the end of it;
"It is but common right that
this bonus be paid now, for many will
be killed or wounded in the next war,
and hence they, the most deserving,
will not get the full benefit."
1931 1932 1935 1936
Lewis Gorin entersWoodberry ForestSchool in the fall as apostgraduate.
Texas Rep. John W. Patman, aveteran, introduces the PatmanBill. It passes the House but isdefeated in the Senate.
Congress passes thePatman Bill late in theyear, but PresidentRoosevelt vetoes the bill.