In 1936, on this day Socialist President-elect Alfred Emanuel Smith, Jr. confirmed the abolition of the Office of Secretary of General Affairs.The Business Plot Unravels
Because in 1934 President Franklin D. Roosevelt had been reduced to a figurehead by the so-called Business Plotters, Wall Street elites who had manoerved Major General Smedley D. Butler into the all powerful position of super-secretary.
The most decorated US marine in history, Butler had been elevated to national political stature by his appearance alongside former Army sergeant Walter W. Waters at the Anacostia flats (pictured) on July 17, 1932. Water's so-called Bonus Army were the thousands of World War I veterans who had converged on Washington, D.C. to set up tent camps, demanding immediate payment of bonuses due them according to the Adjusted Service Certificate Law of 1924. President Herbert Hoover ordered the marchers removed, and their camps were destroyed by US Army cavalry troops under the command of General Douglas MacArthur.
But it was not just veterans that questioned whether the foundations of liberal democracy were being shaken by the Great Depression.
The cocktail elite's opposition to the New Deal program led the White House to leak the silent government take-over to the press. Yet the newspapers were controlled by the elite, who down-played Roosevelt's evidence to protect the interests of advertisers and their owners.
In the absence of New Deal Projects to employ the general population, the public soon turned against the popular General Butler. And two years later, the defeated Democratic candidate from the 1928 Presidential race Al Smith ran on a Socialist ticket, promising to seize the government back for the people. Perhaps the iconic image of the era would be Smith's grandchildren cutting the ribbon when the world's tallest skyscraper, the Socialist State Building opened on May 1, 1941.
Of course less than twelve months later the Building was destroyed by RAF bombers flying from the last outpost of British power in North America, St. Johns in Newfoundland. And as imperial British and Germans troops prepared to invade, Socialist America would sorely miss the commanding leadership of 'the Flying Quaker', former Secretary of General Affairs Major General Smedley D. Butler.