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Pin this on for Good Citizenship, drawing by Clifford Berryman, June 12, 1917

Cartoonist Clifford Berryman captured the spirit of the Liberty Loan campaigns during World War I. Uncle Sam, carrying an armful of bonds and holding up an “I own a Liberty Bond” pin, encouraged Americans to do their patriotic duty by purchasing a Liberty Bond.

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration

Pin this on for Good Citizenship

Liberty Bonds

The U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power to declare war, but how does the nation pay for it? Eighteen days after Congress declared war against Germany in 1917, it passed the Liberty Loan Act, authorizing the treasury secretary to issue $5 billion worth of bonds to raise war funds. By the war’s end, 20 million Americans had purchased more than $21 billion of Liberty Bonds, funding two-thirds of the cost of the war. New taxes covered the remaining costs.

We act with the belief that the debt we are about to incur, stupendous though it is, is no greater than this, the greatest Republic of all time, owes to human civilization.

Representative Nicholas Longworth of Ohio, Speech to the U.S. House of Representatives, April 13, 1917