The college at which I work was founded in 1946 as a GI Bill school. Apparently in its early decades the college hired a clipping service to track the school in the press. On Wednesday a colleague and I were sorting through some of the old binders when we came across the article whose headline you see here. It’s interesting on a number of levels. First off, it’s from the New York World Telegram and Sun, a newspaper that folded in the late 1960s after the various consolidations coinciding with rising printing costs and advent of television in the decades after the Second World War. Next, the article is about Baby Boomers going off to college. This article is from September 1962. These freshmen would have been born in 1944. Demographically they would not have been Baby Boomers. As I understand it that generation technically begins with persons born starting on or after January 1, 1946. Still, it’s close enough. By the early 1960s it is not the World War II generation but their children who are the incoming student body.
One of the great tragedies of the First World War is that there was no assistance for the retuning doughboys. When they came home they were left to fend for themselves. We will never know how the 1920s and beyond would have played out had a Servicemen’s Readjustment Act in, say, 1919 and not twenty-five years later as it did.