CALIFORNIA AFTER THE WAR

GI Bill

Prior to World War II, the Veterans Administration was primarily a medical and pension program for veterans of previous wars. It had large facilities in Los Angeles and the Bay Area, but that would not be enough to take care of returning GIs. On June 22, 1944, the Servicemen's Readjustment Act (the GI Bill of Rights) became law.

Concerned with how millions of returning service members would affect the post-war economy and careful not to repeat the errors of post-World War I veterans' policies, the law's authors provided for home and farm loans, medical care, educational and training benefits, and unemployment compensation. One of the beneficiaries of the law was California's colleges and universities, which saw a massive increase in students and the establishment of several new campuses around the state. The construction industry also saw a boom in building new communities to meet the needs of returning service members.