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Press Release
June 6, 2014

National Archives Museum Presents Original G.I. Bill of Rights

Featured Document Display Marks 70th Anniversary of Law

Washington, DC…Seventy years after the G.I. Bill of Rights was signed into law, the National Archives Museum presents the original document that offered World War II veterans grants and loans for college and vocational education, unemployment insurance, and low-interest loans for housing.

The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, also known as the G.I. Bill, will be on display in the “Featured Documents” exhibit in the museum’s East Rotunda Gallery from June 6 through July 14.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill on June 22, 1944, after it had passed the House and Senate unanimously. The act put higher education, job training, and home ownership within reach of millions of World War II veterans. By 1951, nearly 8 million veterans had received educational and training benefits, and 2.4 million had received $13 billion in Federal loans for homes, farms, and businesses.

The National Archives Museum's "Featured Documents" exhibit is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Toyota.

Located near displays of the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, the featured document exhibit is seen by more than one million visitors each year. More information about the exhibited records’ history and free access to high resolution images [www.archives.gov/nae/visit/featured-documents.html] are available through the National Archives website.

The National Archives Museum is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Metro accessible on Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., daily. Free admission. Additional information on exhibits and programs at the National Archives Museum can be found online.

Following the G.I. Bill of Rights, the museum plans to display:

Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Congress giving President Lyndon Johnson the authority to increase U.S. involvement in the war between North and South Vietnam. (July 15 – August 7)

President Richard Nixon’s resignation letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (August 9, 1974) and President Gerald Ford’s full and unconditional pardon of Nixon (September 8, 1974). (August 8 –11)

House Passage of the Bill of Rights, celebrating its 225th anniversary. The First Congress proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution, 10 of which were ratified and are now collectively known as the Bill of Rights. (August 12 – September 10)

Documents and an artifact commemorating the 1814 burning of Washington and attack on Baltimore and Fort McHenry. During the War of 1812, British forces occupied Washington, burning the White House and other government buildings. Just weeks later the Americans held off the British at the Battle of Baltimore including a 25 hour bombardment of Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” 200 years ago. (September 11 – November 3)

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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