Sunday, November 2, 2014

Everyday Folk Support Their Country and Their Soldiers, Buying $5 Billion in Second Liberty Drive, 1917

“Liberty Loan Subscriptions Carried Far Beyond Goal,” from the front page of the Nov. 1, 1917, issue of The French Broad Hustler. The Hustler, Henderson County’s Leading Newspaper. Price Five Cents. Five billion dollars is a huge amount of money today; imagine what it was like to raise that much back in 1917.

Banks Veritably Swamped by Buyers up to Late Closing Hour Saturday Night—Ten Million Subscribers

Washington, October 27—The Liberty loan apparently has passed the $5,000,000,000 mark.

A last day drive of titanic proportions throughout the nation rounded up more than $1,000,000,000, and was believed to have earned the total several hundred million dollars beyond the maximum sum treasury officials had hoped for.

Federal reserve banks were struggling tonight under an avalanche of last minute subscriptions to form some idea of the grand total. Indications are that they will not complete their tabulations for several days.

At least 8,000,000 persons throughout the country wrote their names on application blanks. How many more final count, several days hence. The number may be as high as 10,000,000.

Each of the 12 districts appeared to have passed its minimum, and indications were that most of them had exceeded the maximum as well.

The treasury’s tabulation of returns, based upon the estimates received from the reserve banks, showed a total of $4,555,000,000. This was admitted to be an under-statement of the result. At the hour the tabulation was made, subscribers were standing in line in thousands of cities and towns throughout the country and most of the 26,000 banks were swamped with unreported subscriptions.

The treasury’s compilation by districts follows:

Boston, $500,000,000; New York, $1,500,000,000; Philadelphia, $425,000,000; Richmond, $180,000,000; Atlanta, $100,000,000; Chicago, $550,000,000; St. Louis, $200,000,000; Minneapolis, $130,000,000; Kansas City, $160,000,000; Dallas, $85,000,000; and San Francisco, $26\75,000,000.

“Subscriptions to the second Liberty loan probably have passed $5,000,000,000,” said a treasury statement.

“From every district came the report that it was almost impossible to estimate totals, as the subscriptions were pouring in so rapidly that it was with the greatest difficulty they were even being recorded.

“New sales were being reported by telephone, telegraph and messenger, it was declared, from coast to coast. None was so bold as to say it would be possible to give an accurate accounting of all sales before next Wednesday.”

Wednesday is the day on which bank subscriptions must have reached the district federal reserve banks.

“With its maximum safety passed at sundown,” the statement continued, “the New York district went forging ahead by artificial light, bent on running up a total of hundreds of millions more. An enormous volume of business was being conducted tonight.”

Subsequent to the issue of this statement, officials were informed by telephone that New York’s total would run up to $1,650,000,000. This would swell the department’s figures to $4,705,000,000.

“Cleveland furnished one of the eleventh hour surprises,” the statement added. “This district’s total bids fair to go high over the maximum of $500,000,000.

“Chicago, somewhat disappointed at its slow start toward its maximum of $700,000,000, buckled down hard today to come as near that mark as possible. Workers had not entirely lost hope tonight of taking rank with other leaders, but the task looked difficult.

“Atlanta wired they were swamped with long distance telephone orders and with telegraphic orders and that all the banks were staying open until 9 o’clock. Optimistic observers thought that the district might reach its maximum quota of $135,000,000.

“Indications tonight were that soldiers has subscribed $75,000,000 and sailors $6,000,000.”

No comments:

Post a Comment