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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Funding the War

Not wanting to disrupt the economic advances the nation had enjoyed under neutrality, Secretary of the Treasury William McAdoo and the government as a whole heavily promoted the sale of war bonds called Liberty Loans. Mounting four Liberty Loans drives and one Victory Loan drive, the U.S. government raised $20 billion with nearly one third coming from people making less than $2,000 annually. Celebrities exhorted citizens to buy bonds. Artists produced posters that were powerful tools in each of the separate bond drives. The three posters shown here are "car cards," so called because of their placement on buses, trams, and subway cars to attract the attention of riders.