1930 October 2

Cleveland Police Club, Tear Gas 2,500 Protesting President Herbert Hoover


Cleveland police on this day used clubs and tear gas to block a march of 2,500 people protesting President Herbert Hoover’s failure to provide work and relief to the American people as the Great Depression was entering its second year. Hoover was in Cleveland to give an address. The march was organized by the Communist Party. Marchers carried signs reading “We Want Work” and “Give Us Jobs.” Some marchers shouted “Down With Hoover!” The march began at Cleveland Public Square while Hoover was still in a nearby hotel.

The most notorious freedom of assembly case under President Hoover occurred on July 28, 1932 when Army units dispersed the thousands of Bonus Army people who had camped out in Washington, DC to demand early payment of scheduled bonuses for World War I veterans.

The first national report on police misconduct was the 1931 Wickersham Commission report on Lawlessness in Law Enforcement, released on August 10, 1931, which found that the “Third Degree,” using brutal methods to gain confessions, was “widespread.”

Learn more about President Herbert Hoover’s record on civil liberties: Samuel Walker, Presidents and Civil Liberties From Wilson to Obama (2012)

Read: Paul Dickson and Paul B. Allen, The Bonus Army: An American Epic (2004)

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