The Frontier Museum became the recipient on September 12 of a World War II Series E Bond donated by Monticello resident David Adams and accepted by Museum Board President Ginger Tracy.
During the third savings bond drive conducted by the U. S. Treasury Department, Dora Adams, mother of David, purchased the gift bond in the name of her daughter Ingrid Kay. The bond is dated July 10, 1943.
There were eight war bond drives in all. The third drive raised $18.9 billion to help finance America ’s involvement in World War II.
In 1941, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt bought the first Series E savings bond. At the close of the war, 85 million patriotic Americans, mostly average citizens, had purchased $185 billion in war bonds.
The success of the 1942-43 Back the Attack campaign was driven primarily by government propaganda that cast civilians at home as participants in the fight. Hollywood celebrities urged Americans to buy war bonds. Irving Berlin wrote songs, Dr. Seuss drew cartoons, and artist Norman Rockwell designed posters for war bond drives.
Three of the marines who raised the American flag atop Mount Suribachi on the South Pacific Island of Iwo Jima were paraded throughout America to sell war bonds, and even President Roosevelt hawked bonds during his radio fireside chats to the nation.
The historical significance of the bond given to the Frontier Museum by Adams far exceeds both its maturity face value of $25 and its eBay value of up to $300.
For display purposes the gift bond has been matted and framed along with copies of period ads urging Americans to buy bonds to help finance the war.
The sale of United States government securities to the public dates back to the nation’s founding. In 1776, private citizens purchased more then $27 million in government bonds to help finance the American Revolution.
President Tracy and Adams invite the public to visit the Frontier Museum (housed at the welcome center at 232 South Main Street in Monticello) to see the Series E Bond exhibit and other exhibits. The museum, which emphasizes local history, is open daily except Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
*(Historical information for this article is taken from a 2006 Texas A&M University Press publication Mobilizing the Home Front by James J. Kimble.)