Double Victory: Minorities and Women During World War II
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Evan Griffith, "Appeal to Buy War Bonds," 3 August 1942

Although taxes rose in wartime, much of the war's costs were financed by government borrowing. In the Allied countries purchases were voluntary, but much moral pressure was exerted to persuade the general public that it was their patriotic duty to invest in as many war bonds as they could afford. For the first time in over a decade, most people were earning good money in war-related jobs, and due to wartime restrictions there was relatively little on which they could spend their wages. Farmers, too, were enjoying unwonted prosperity after the hardships of the 1930s. The following appeal to Kansas farmers was signed by Evan Griffith, the administrator of that state's War Savings Staff, and sent out on 3 August 1942.

TO THE FARMERS OF KANSAS:

Your own sons and neighbors are fighting on foreign battle fields to hold back the Japs and Hitler. Millions of other American boys are being trained for overseas service. These men cannot fight bare-handed. They must have guns and tanks and ships and planes—which cost a lot of money. We must supply these war implements in a hurry. We must win, and the sooner we win, the fewer American boys will be killed.

Farmers, like all Americans, have obligations to meet and families to support. Crop failures have occurred frequently in recent years. Some sections are just now recovering from the effects of drought and depression years. This year, again, adverse weather conditions have hurt some localities. Farming in Kansas certainly has not been profitable for everyone every year. Still, the Kansas farmer has kept his faith in the "good earth" of Kansas—and that faith now is paying dividends. It appears that farm income for Kansas this year will be more than in any year since 1929—and I am writing to ask you to buy all of the War Bonds you possibly can. You can buy these Bonds through your banker, postmaster, building and loan association and many of our merchants.

You help win the war . . . you're backing the boys in the service . . . when you Buy War Bonds.

War Bonds are the soundest investment on earth . . . you are always guaranteed at least what you pay for them, plus interest . . . War bonds can be cashed in at any time after sixty days . . . they are a liquid asset, like wheat in the bin.

We all realize that we can't buy cars and tires and farm machinery . . . but we can convert Bonds into cash for farm machinery and other necessary articles when the war is over and these articles are available again.


Further Reading
Evan Griffith, "Appeal to Buy War Bonds," 3 August 1942. "Government Material" File, Linda Kuntz Papers, World War II Participants and Contemporaries Collection, Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library. Reprinted in Mark P. Parillo, ed., We Were in the Big One: Experiences of World War II Generation (Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, 2002), 14–17. .
 

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