War Bonds

In order to help pay for the war, Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr., started planning for a voluntary "Defense Bond" (after December 7, 1941, "War Bond") program in the fall of 1940. Part of the program was a massive public relations campaign that encouraged buying bonds as a patriotic duty of all Americans. The program was designed to make purchasing bonds as easy as possible, regardless of an individual's financial resources. Appeals to purchase bonds were placed in movies, and the Treasury Department would stage huge bond rallies that featured Hollywood celebrities, and war heroes would urge people to buy bonds. The tour of Norman Rockwell's series of paintings, titled Four Freedoms, raised over $132 million in War Bond sales.

Over $250 million of advertising was donated from 1941 to 1943 as part of the campaign. More than 85 million Americans purchased bonds totaling $185.7 billion.

People and the War