State Representative John Cavaletto (R-Salem) announce that House Bill 4954 passed the full House on Friday to amend the State Commemorative Dates Act to include November 4 each year as “G.I. Bill of Rights Day” to recognize the date when eight men met in Salem Illinois at the American Legion Post 128 to discuss ideas for helping returning veterans from World War II.
“This commemorative date is an important historical date not only for Salem and our Local American Legion Post 128, but every community represented at that meeting on November 4, 1943 can share in this pride,” said Rep. John Cavaletto. “There were Legionnaires from Effingham, Olney, McLeansboro, Springfield, Lemont, and Chicago. We can all be proud of the huge impact of the G.I. Bill on our veterans, schools, and communities.”
“We appreciate Rep. Cavaletto sponsoring this legislation to recognize that November 4 is the date in history when the G.I. Bill of Rights was ‘born’ at the Luther B. Easley Post 128 right here in Salem, Illinois,” commented American Legion Post 128 Commander Harold Kocher. “Every year we can remind people that Legion members from both here and around the state were instrumental in getting this idea off the ground. This legislation helped our soldiers readjust to civilian life after the war and it all started with notes jotted down on napkins at the American Legion on Main Street.”
Officially known as “The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944,” and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944, this legislation established programs and support for returning soldiers in the areas of education, home loans and small business loans.
House Bill 4954 now goes to the Senate for consideration. If it passes there, it would go to the Governor for his consideration.