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World War II War Bond rally on the streets of Royal Oak, sponsered by the Frank Wendland Post # 253 of the American Legion.

What are War Bonds?
War Bonds are debt securities issued by the United States Government, in order to generate capitol to finance military operations in times of national defense and armed conflict. The bonds issued during World War II did more than finance the war effort, they were used to control inflation by removing money from circulation in an over heated economy, stimulated by full employment, and buying restricted by rationing. These bonds were essentially loans to the government for a 10 year period and were paid back to the purchaser with interest. Originally called Defense Bonds, these government securities were renamed War Bonds after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, and the U.S. entry into active conflict in WWII.
On the heels of the 1930's depression, bonds were made available in a wide range of denominations making them affordable to all citizens regardless of income level. Most Americans purchased stamps for 10-15 cents each, these were then pasted into a booklet. When the booklets were full they could be turned in for a $25 War Bond. These booklets sold at 75% of their face value in denominations of $25 up to $10,000. War Bonds yielded below market value at 2.9% after the ten year period.

Sales of all bonds were under the charge of The War Finance Committee. Advertizing and sales promotion fell to the Advertizing Council. Voluntary compliance was solicited through appeals to the public’s sense of patriotism and personal conscience. The “Buy War Bonds” campaign began with radio broadcast and newspaper ads, later it was extended to magazine promotions. Radio and movie stars were called upon early in the campaign to convince people to buy bonds. Bond rallies were held with local support and the efforts of every community throughout the country.

The results:
“Stars over America” a nation wide tour by Hollywood movie stars netted $838,540,000 in bond sales. A 16-hour radio broadcast on CBS sold nearly $40 million worth of bonds, and a special baseball game between the New York Yankees, New York Giants, and the Brooklyn Dodgers collected $456,500,000 in sales. When WW II ended in 1946 more than half of the population of 85 million Americans had purchased a total of $185.7 billion in War Bonds.

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