State Rep. Blaine Wilhour was the guest speaker for the 75th Anniversary Celebration of the signing of the Serviceman’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more commonly known as the “G.I. Bill of Rights.”
“This is an important piece of legislation that was born right here in southern Illinois that impacted and improved the lives of our soldiers returning from World War II,” said Rep. Blaine Wilhour. “I, like many of you, was able to use the G.I. Bill to go to college. Many people were able to get home loans, small business loans, and financial assistance to finis high school and go to college on the GI Bill.”
The eight men who sat around the table after a legion dinner in Salem on November 4, 1943, wrote down their ideas on napkins and those ideas were taken by former Governor John Stelle back to Washington, D.C. where the ideas were expanded on over several days at the Mayflower Hotel. Gov. Stelle was made the head of the committee of people who would have the ideas drafted into legislation and would lobby to have that bill passed and signed into law by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on June 22, 1944.