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America's History in the Making

Resource Archive: Search Results

Third Liberty Loan Campaign

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J.C. Leyendecker, THIRD LIBERTY LOAN CAMPAIGN -- BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA WEAPONS FOR LIBERTY (1917). Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

Creator J.C. Leyendecker, an artist for the American Lithographic Company
Context The federal government initiated a campaign to sell liberty bonds at a low interest rate to Americans.
Audience The general public
Purpose People bought liberty bonds to support the war effort.

Historical Significance

The federal government appealed to the emotions of citizens by organizing a campaign to sell liberty bonds to finance the huge expenditures of World War I. When redeemed, one received the original value of the bond plus interest. The campaign relied on celebrities and the Boy Scouts to pitch the sell. The public responded enthusiastically—only to discover that the value of the bonds had dropped 80 percent of their face value after the war.

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