Little Known Truths…
In January 1932, 25,000 jobless men from Pennsylvania (Cox’s Army) marched to Washington to petition Congress and Hoover to start a job program. Hoover, fearing Communist agitation, ordered an investigation. The investigation discovered that the march was financed by Andrew Mellon. One way he financed the march was by offering free gas at all of his Gulf gas stations to the protestors so they could drive to the Capitol. McFadden then pressured President Hoover to remove him as Secretary of the Treasury. Then Mellon became Ambassador to the Court of St. James. Mellon married a daughter of a large stockholder in Guinness. He later divorces her after she had an affair with a British soldier…among many others. Prior to Prohibition Mellon was a large stockholder in what was the country’s largest distillery.
On July 17, 1932 thousands of WWI veterans converged on the capitol to set up tent camps and demanded immediate payment of bonuses due them according to the Adjusted Service Certificate Law of 1924. Since America’s founding we have always been remised about paying our troops. Remember the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 and the storming of Philadelphia? What about the Newburgh Conspiracy? The worst atrocities to our soldiers happened when we had a national bank.
Soldiers of WWI were to be paid $1 for every day of service at home and $1.25 for overseas with a cap of $500. Harding and Coolidge had fought against any instant payment scheme. Veterans were able to take out loans against their certificates beginning in 1927. By June 30, 1932, more than 2.5 million veterans had borrowed $1.369 billion when they marched on Washington. There were 3,662,374 Adjusted Service Certificates issued, with a combined face value of $3,638,000,000 (2010: $43.7 billion). Congress established a trust fund to receive 20 annual payments of $112 million that, with interest, would finance the 1945 disbursement of the $3.638 billion for the veterans. Meanwhile, veterans could borrow up to 22.5% of the certificate’s face value from the fund; but in 1931 it was raised to 50%. Being it the Great Depression, many probably got behind in payments, sold them at depreciated values, and continued to pay interest on the loans.
Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, one of the most popular military figures of the time, visited their camp to back their effort and encourage them. On July 28 Washington ordered the veterans removed from all government property. Washington police, created during the September 11th riots, met with resistance, and two veterans were wounded and later died. President Herbert Hoover then ordered General Douglas MacArthur to command the infantry and cavalry supported by six tanks led by General Paton of Hamilton, MA to attack the veterans of WWI. They were driven out with their wives and children and their shelters and belongings burned.
The veterans fled across the Anacostia River to their largest camp, and President Herbert Hoover called an end to it. MacArthur ignored him and attacked. He claimed it was an attempt to overthrow the government; 55 veterans were injured and 135 arrested. They were attacked with tanks, bayonets, tear gas, and bullets. Afterward they would march to state line to state line after being removed by authorities.
“I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of the racket all the time. Now I am sure of it,” said Major General Smedley Butler. He received 16 military medals, 5 for valor, one of 19 men to receive the Medal of Honor twice. He wrote the 1935 exposé that linked business and the military titled War Is A Racket. He served in Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Haiti (earning his Medals of Honor in Mexico and Haiti). Loved by his troops for his care of them he became the youngest Major General in the marines at 48.
“In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War….How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle?”
In 1934 the House Un-American Activities Committee called Butler to expose a coup against the government. Later it was called the Business Plot. He had been recruited by a group of wealthy Pro-Fascists who had hoped to use him in a coup against President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The heads of Chase Bank, GM, Goodyear, Standard Oil, the Dupont family, Felix Warburg, N.M. Rothschild & Sons, J.P. Morgan, and Senator Prescott Bush was believed to behind it. Felix Warburg was married to Jacob Henry Schiff’s daughter and he owned Kuhn, Loeb, & Co. They would claim Roosevelt’s failing health would be the cause they engage the coup and would make Butler “Secretary of General Affairs”, while Roosevelt would have assumed a figurehead role.
In 1785 Mayer Amschel Rothschild shared a 5 story house to engage in his gold enterprise called “The Green Shield” which he shared with the Schiff family. Schiff and Rothschild families were linked since their beginnings.
Butler went along, gathering intelligence about the plot, and took it to Congress. Butler’s assertions were not aggressively pursued, and the matter was largely dismissed. However, an internal report to Congress from House Un-American Committee confirmed the veracity of the plot. Some thought it came about because on June 5, 1933 Roosevelt took us off the gold standard nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.
In 1954 when the CIA led a coup against Arbenz government in Guatemala it was Assistant Secretary of State for Latin American Affairs John Moors Cabot who led it. He was a president of United Fruit also. Árbenz continued social reforms which included a minimum wage law, increased educational funding and near-universal suffrage that Arévalo’s started. The social reform policies, as well as instituting land reform, which sought to grant land to peasants who had been victims of debt slavery while United Fruit owned the country. America also sent in troops when Cabrera was overthrown. Nine years later Jorge Ubico took over and worked with United Fruit to keep the population down leading to executions, massacres, and forced labor. Conditions in Guatemala were so deplorable that Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf Sr. refused to help extend the police state in this nation.
Back in 1889 Andrew Preston’s Boston Fruit Company merged with Minor Cooper Keith to from United Fruit Company which is now Chiquita Brands International. Henry Cabot Lodge, a descendant of the Salem smugglers and Essex Junto, was a director. Cameron Forbes, a relation to Thomas H. Perkins, would also be a director. Thomas Dudley Cabot would become president. Thomas Jefferson Coolidge Jr. would become president as well after his father helped the company incorporate in NJ. Thomas’ grandfather was Joseph Coolidge who was part of Russell & Co.
Another forgotten hero was Henry Agard Wallace. Now you black and white film lovers might know him indirectly. The greatest Robert Riskin and Frank Capra films were based on him. Gary Cooper in Meet John Doe and Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Even Wallace’s guru’s interest in Tibetan mysticism is in Lost Horizon.
Henry Agard Wallace started as Secretary of Agriculture for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933. He convinced farmers to hold back on yields to increase their prices to fight foreclosures during the Great Depression. He provided food stamps and school lunches. He created programs for land-use planning, soil conservation, and erosion control. He promoted research to combat plant and animal diseases, to locate drought-resistant crops and to develop hybrid seeds in order to increase yields. His plans helped commercial farming right down to subsistence farming.
His father Henry Cantwell Wallace had that same post under Harding and Coolidge. When he was little George Washington Carver lived with them because he could not live at the dorm at Iowa State University when he was a student and then an instructor. He taught Wallace a lot on nature walks and on the farm before he went to the Tuskegee Institute when Wallace was 8. After attending Iowa State College at Ames Wallace will go on to make a fortune with his High-Bred Corn company in 1926.
In the 1930’s the Roosevelts and Wallace met the mystic and artist Nicholas Roerich who had formed a distinct practice of Theosophy called Living Ethics. Roerich co-wrote the scenario for Igor Stravinsky’s 1913 avant garde ballet The Rite of Spring. Before meeting Wallace and the Roosevelt’s he traveled to Tibet and in 1930 published a book, Shambhala: In Search of the New Era, a collection of traditional legends of Tibetan Buddhism. Roerich lobbied for the protection of the world’s cultural, scientific, and artistic monuments from the ravages of war, a cause Wallace, along with such luminaries as Albert Einstein, George Bernard Shaw, and H.G. Wells, among others, enthusiastically adopted. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was involved with Asian religions and mythology through the influence of his mother. I wonder if his grandfather brought these predilections back to his family while he was selling opium in China.
A lot of the New Deal could be based on attitudes in a book called The Glory Road that Roosevelt introduced to Wallace. The Glory Road description says “the experience of the human race as it has tried to follow the road of truth while at the same time building up for itself a structure of civilization that will yield material wealth.” Many times these men would talk and write to each other while crafting New Deal legislature about concepts within the book. It was an informal guide or Bible to their actions.
In 1940 Wallace was elected Vice President on Roosevelt’s third term. Many southern conservative Democrats disliked him as, “the hopelessly utopian, market-manipulating, bureaucracy-breeding New Deal.” They discredited him as a mystic. In many ways he was Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.
Wallace was appointed chairman of the Board of Economic Warfare and of the Supply Priorities and Allocation Board in 1941 which became important during WWII. He but heads with Jesse H. Jones who was the Secretary of Commerce. One belief he had that went against Jones was that Latin American rubber production could be increased if the living standards were raised to reduce the incidence of chronic malnutrition and malaria increasing productivity. With the United States funding half the cost of these programs, Jones thought he was nuts.
On May 8, 1942, Wallace delivered The Price of Free World Victory speech to the Free World Association in NYC. The speech, delivered during the darkest days of the war, came to be known as “the century of the common man.” It was a retort of Republican bonesman publisher of Time and Life magazines, Henry Luce’s call for an “American Century”. For Wallace the war was a conflict between the slave states and the free world.
“The concept of freedom, extraordinary emphasis on the dignity of the individual,” but only recently had it become a reality for large numbers of people. “Democracy is the only true political expression of Christianity,” he declared, adding that with freedom must come abundance. “Men and women can never be really free until they have plenty to eat, and time and ability to read and think and talk things over.”
The Idea of the Common Man and his speeches and the meek inheriting the Earth were central points to Riskin’s and Capra’s Meet John Doe. Unfortunately John Does demise in the film was inspired by real life.
During Roosevelt’s 4th election Wallace was on his ticket again and held great sway during the first day of the National Democratic Convention. A scene right out of Meet John Doe, large crowds gathered to support Wallace with banners and cheers…then it all went wrong. The convention was abruptly ended because the event was deemed a fire hazard. By the next day democratic party bosses rallied against him and gained the vote for Henry Truman. Wallace became Secretary of Commerce.
A month later Roosevelt dies during the war and the bombs are dropped on Japan. On the atom bomb Wallace said, “as long as the United States makes atomic bombs she will be looked upon as the world’s outstanding aggressor nation.” He thought the nuclear program should be controlled by civilian agencies and not military. In a speech delivered on April 12, 1946, Wallace distanced himself from the United States’ former wartime allies, stating that “aside from our common language and common literary tradition, we have no more in common with Imperialistic England than with Communist Russia” He did not like England and he once praised Russia. Unfortunately that praise led to his downfall when he realized Russia made a fool out of him after they hid the fact he visited a forced labor camp.
He was the last of Roosevelt’s administration to be replaced. William Averell Harriman would replace him as Secretary of Commerce.
During his campaign against Truman for presidency he came in 4th of 4 with 2% of the vote and founded the Progressive Democratic Party. He also was riled through the press for some time afterward to the point the only person who was hated more than him was Lucky Luciano..
Some of the things that ruined him politically was his opposition to the Cold War and racial segregation coupled with his support of labor unions, national health insurance, public works jobs and women’s equality. If there was not a fire hazard Hiroshima would have withstood. At the end of the war the Japanese were sending their first born male children from their wealthy families to commit suicide as kamikazes to save face. They had to soon surrender since their resources were spent. All they asked for was the ability to continue to worship their Emperor as a god. So there was no reason to have dropped the two bombs on them.
The Depression ended during WWII when the government helped fund the training of several integrated workers in factories and France was defeated in Germany forcing the allies to buy goods from America. Wallace and FDR kept America going till this had happened. Neither would be able to be in a position of power to see the Depression or the War end in its most beneficial stance, but the branches of the tree that took root in Salem were there to shape the nation to their needs…
To find out more and other fabulous stories about how Salem, MA shaped American History read Sub Rosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin published by Salem House Press.