“The Greatest Legislation: An American Legion Centennial Salute to the GI Bill” at the 100th National Convention of The American Legion in Minneapolis on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018. Photo by Schelly Stone/The American Legion

American Legion GI Bill exhibit headed back to Texas

The George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas will welcome “The Greatest Legislation: An American Legion Centennial Salute to the GI Bill” from now through Dec. 1. The multimedia traveling exhibit features illustrated panels, touch-screen video kiosks and rare artifacts that depict the crisis, drama, solution, effects and ongoing success of the GI Bill.

The display documents the story of the “greatest legislation,” which The American Legion originally drafted and pushed to passage in 1943 and 1944. It features illustrated panels, video kiosks and artifacts that show the dramatic story of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, the massive effects it had on U.S. society and the ongoing effort to continue improving it for new generations, through to the passage last August of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 – the “Forever GI Bill.”

The exhibit has been touring the country since its debut in June 2017 at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. It has also been on exhibit at the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas; the 10th Student Veterans of America National Convention in San Antonio; Bob Hope Patriotic Hall in Los Angeles; the Montana Military Museum in Helena, Mont.; the Iowa Gold Star Museum at Camp Dodge, Iowa; and at the 100th National Convention in Minneapolis.

Originally drafted by American Legion Past National Commander Harry W. Colmery in the winter of 1943, the GI Bill transformed the U.S. economy in the second half of the 20th century. Often characterized as America’s most significant social legislation of the last 100 years, it is credited for averting economic disaster after World War II, educating millions, making college and home ownership a reasonable expectation for average Americans, leading to the all-volunteer military and advancing civil rights.

The George W. Bush Presidential Center is located at 2943 SMU Boulevard, Dallas. It's open Monday-Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 12-5 p.m. Visit the website at www.bushcenter.org/.