1917-1918: America Funds Its War
Not only were Americans asked to risk their lives fighting the war, the government needed its citizens to help finance the war—even children participated by purchasing War Savings Stamps. Average Americans bought war bonds issued by the U.S. Treasury and in return received repayment with interest at a future date.Millions of Americans purchased Liberty Bonds and donated to the Red Cross and other charities. Rallies were held in most towns and cities, and patriotic speeches were given by “4 Minute Men” and celebrities to encourage this support. No procurement was too small, including collections done by these women with baskets at right at one such rally.
Four Liberty Loan drives were conducted during the war, with one final Victory Loan campaign in 1919. A total of $25.6 billion was raised—$420.5 billion in 2018 dollars.
The Chinese community showed its patriotism helping to raise money for the 4th Liberty Loan drive.
The money was used to buy weapons, ammunition, and supplies for the allied cause such as this check paid to the Moore Shipbuilding Company of Oakland, California. This one check was 10% of the total paid to Moore to construct ships for the war: $13.5 million through 1918— $223 million in 2018 dollars.
1917-1918: America Funds Its War Banner on view in Veterans Building Lobby