Two contingents of hunger marchers arrive in nation's capital

By Charles McCann  |  December 06 1931
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WASHINGTON -- With a motorcycle policeman in front and newsreel cameramen grinding away on all sides, the first contingents of the national hunger marchers moved into the national capital today.

Two armies, here to demand cash from congress and President Hoover, sang and shouted as they paraded in orderly manner to their headquarters near the seat of federal government.

Some 1,400 men, women, boys and girls were in the ranks of the marchers. Nine hundred of them arrived by way of Baltimore, representing Atlantic states up as far as Boston. The second "army" was from the West.

Banners demanding food and money relief for the unemployed were hauled out from the floors of their trucks as they reached the outskirts of the city. Sound news photographers drilled them in their marching songs.

Trouble feared

At the Gospel Mission they made their headquarters.

Trouble is threatened for tomorrow, when the marchers intend to parade to the White House and to the capitol to demand that government and congress which convenes at noon act immediately to provide for $150 cash unemployment benefits and permanent unemployment insurance.

But there was no trouble today. Police work was perfect. The marchers and the police chatted together like old friends.

Tonight the marchers held a mass meeting at the Washington auditorium, making plans for tomorrow, listening to speeches and singing and shouting.

Rules Waived

Army cots were provided for them at their quarters a few blocks away from the capitol and just off Pennsylvania avenue. Marines are in charge, with police aiding them.

Neither the marchers nor the police know what is in store tomorrow. Some of the communists in the procession would like to have action, and they are likely to get it if they insist.

Glassford and Vice President Curtis talked at the Mayflower hotel, where Curtis lives, with Herbert Benjamin, Washington leader of the marchers. It was there that Curtis, on Glassford's recommendation, waived the no-banner rule. The only restriction is that no banner can denounce the president, the government or congress.

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