ARTICLE: "The Sixth War Loan Drive"

THE SIXTH WAR LOAN DRIVE


The United States Treasury Department began offering what were known as “Defense Bonds” in May, 1941. These non-negotiable bonds were renamed “War Bonds” shortly after the United States officially entered World War II on December 8, 1941. These War Bonds , aka “E” Bonds, could be purchased by American citizens outright in amounts ranging from $25 and up, or alternatively one could purchase ten cent stamps that could be saved up in a book and redeemed for the actual War Bonds. Americans were advised by the government to delay “cashing in” the bonds until the war was over.

For the duration of the war, the U.S. Treasury conducted “War Loan Drives”, set periods of time during which an onslaught of entertainers, radio programs, posters, newspaper ads, articles, magazines, and short films urged Americans to purchase as many war bonds as possible to help fund the war effort. And the money was needed---on November 19, 1944 President Franklin D. Roosevelt stated that the war was costing the United States $250,000,000 a day. There would ultimately wind up being eight numbered War Loan Drives during the duration of World War II, with the eighth and final one being dubbed the “Victory Loan Drive”. Similar War Loan Drives had been conducted during the first World War---but whereas the propaganda for those campaigns relied largely on posters and newspapers, during World War II a coalition of actors, comedians and singers would help lead the way.

This article focuses on the media’s (primarily radio‘s) role in one such campaign, the Sixth. The Sixth War Loan Drive consisted of twenty six days in the life of the American Home Front of late 1944. The Sixth War Loan Drive faced a few slight difficulties that the earlier five drives had not. By the end of 1944, with German resistance somewhat winding down, there was a sense among American citizens that the war was reaching its conclusion. There was also a bit of a fatigue factor, being asked once more to dip into your funds to buy more bonds. The Treasury Department worked hard to counter both of these beliefs. Unlike earlier drives, the Sixth had five “slogans” rather than just one, one of them being “Your Country Is Still At War---Are You?”

As an army of six million "Victory Volunteer" workers tried to meet or beat a goal of 14 billion dollars., Ted R. Gamble, National Director of the Treasury’s War Finance Division, said "the Sixth War Loan is receiving unprecedented support from the press, radio, motion picture industry, magazine publishers, retailers and the advertising industry". Radio would lead the way for the campaign. The President’s “Statement on The Sixth War Loan Drive”, which inaugurated the drive, was broadcast live on radio. The country listened to the war bond fund raising Army-Navy football game live on the radio. And popular radio entertainers such as Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Eddie Cantor and more drove home the need to fund the war effort.

Lasting from November 20 to December 16, 1944, the Sixth War Loan Drive would encompass the “football game of the century”, a two-story replica of the Statue of Liberty erected in Times Square, a celebrity-filled “Radio Revue” aired live from Madison Square Garden, hundreds of hours of radio programming, and a cross-dressing squirrel named Tommy Tucker that asked citizens to buy war bonds.



PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT’S “STATEMENT ON THE SIXTH WAR LOAN DRIVE”

On November 19, 1944 from 10:00 to 10:05pm, President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave his “Radio Address to Start the Sixth War Loan Drive“. The recording of the speech, archived as SRT49-156:491, lasts three minutes and thirty seconds,and the speech was archived as Roosevelt Presidential speech number 121. Roosevelt had recently been elected to his fourth term as President, on November 6, 1944.

"The Sixth War Loan Drive that starts tomorrow is something more than just a money-raising affair.

We cannot all fight the enemy face to face. We cannot all produce the weapons and the raw materials that are so vital to our armed forces.

But there is one front on which all of us—every man, woman, and child—can serve, and serve for the duration. We can all practice self-denial. We can all sacrifice some of our comforts to the needs of the men in service; and yes, even some of our needs to their comforts.

The war in the present month of November alone will cost us seven and one-half billions of dollars. That is two hundred and fifty millions a day.

That is why every war bond that you buy is so important.

The war is not over- no, not by many a costly battle. While we have every reason to be proud of what has been done—even optimistic about the ultimate outcome—we have no reason to be complacent about the tough road that still lies ahead of us.

We have just been through a wartime election, demonstrating to the people of the world the deep roots of our democratic faith.

This Sixth War Loan, I am confident, will be a further example of democracy in action in a world at war.

There is an old saying about sticking to the plow until you have reached the end of the furrow. Every rule of common sense and patriotic thought makes that maxim applicable to our conduct in this war.

And so in the name of our wounded and sick, in the name of our dead, and in the name of future generations of Americans, I ask you to plow out this furrow to a successful and victorious end.”




GENERAL DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER’S MESSAGE

From Sunday, November 12, 1944, a message from Gen. Dwight D Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces:

“Your assistance is needed and the most important job now for the people at home is to make the Sixth War Loan a success. To make sure of final victory we must redouble and sustain our efforts both here and everywhere. The money must be raised and our men on all the fronts depend on you.

Contact your local war finance committee and join the home front army as a volunteer bond worker. On behalf of your sons, brothers, husbands and friends in this great war theatre I request that you do your part to see that the Sixth War Loan is vastly over-subscribed”


“STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT THE SIXTH WAR LOAN DRIVE”

In part to help the “Victory Volunteers” counter any negative feelings toward another campaign, the US Treasury Department issued a pamphlet, “Straight Talk about the Sixth War Loan Drive” to help them sell the war bonds to their fellow citizens, some of whom may have been more reluctant this sixth go-around.

It began; “As we move closer to victory, it wouldn’t be surprising if you were saying to yourself---’What’s the big idea of asking for all this additional money now? Isn’t the war almost over?’

No, sir, it is not! Not by a long shot. Of course, for many months now you’ve heard mostly about the war with Germany, where our greatest effort was concentrated. That’s why many people have the idea that the war’s practically over. But make no mistake about it---nothing could be farther from the truth! The Japanese war is a tremendous undertaking, and victory will come high. We’ll have to fight every inch of the way.

….in addition, we will need more of everything. More B-29 Superfortresses that cost $600,000 each. More P-47 Thunderbolts that cost $50,000 each. More M-4 tanks, with bulldozer blades, that cost $67, 417 each. More amphibious tanks--more aircraft carriers--more supply ships--more gasoline and oil than it took for the invasion of Europe!

As Good citizens, with their own interests at heart, they want:
---to buy homes or make home repairs and improvements after the war
---to provide for education of their children
---to provide a post-war start for a boy returning from war
---to provide for their own old age
---to tide over possible lean days
---to enjoy a safe income from accumulated savings

They know that behind these bonds stand the strength of their government and the wealth of their great homeland. Behind these bonds stand the faith of 135 million Americans and the credit of their nation, which has never repudiated a debt.

When you ring the bell and face the prospect, remember that you are offering your neighbors a method of saving that will profit them either by increasing in redemption value as time passes (E and F Bonds) or by paying interest. Americans like to buy from good salesmen and they like to buy from well-known makers and firms. You represent the strongest financial institution in the world, the United States Treasury, and the goods you sell are the best advertised commodity in the world---War Bonds. Your prospects are neighbors; some may be personal friends. All will know what your business is as soon as they see your Victory Volunteer badge and hear you say: “I am your Victory Volunteer. My name is -----and I live at -----. I want to talk with you for a few minutes about the Sixth War Loan”.

The program for the 1944 Army-Navy game

“THE GAME OF THE CENTURY”

As fall turned to winter in late 1944, anticipation for the forty-sixth annual football game between the Army and the Navy was running unusually high. In this pre-Super Bowl era, with interest in the NFL still lagging considerably behind Major League Baseball, college teams dominated the football landscape, and the Army-Navy game was usually considered the “game of the year”. But in 1944 this interest would leap up to a much higher level.

Army, undefeated that season at 8-0, were ranked as the number one team in the country, and had outscored their opponents by an incredible margin of 481 to 28. Navy finished 6-2 and were ranked second in the country. Thus, this season, not only would the usual “bragging rights” between the two teams be on the line, but the national title as well.

As excitement for the game mounted, in November the U.S. House of Representatives proposed that the ticket sales to the game be tied into the purchase of War Bonds. There were two problems with this proposal, however. After America had been plunged into war in December 1941, President Roosevelt announced that the venue for the annual Army-Navy game would alternate each year. This begat the first problem, because the 1944 game was scheduled to be played at the relatively small Thompson Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, which had a seating limit of approximately 20,000. The second problem was that most of the tickets for the game had already been sold to local residents.

After a meeting with his cabinet on November 17, President Roosevelt gave approval for the game to be moved approximately thirty miles away from Annapolis, to Baltimore’s much larger Municipal Stadium. Municipal Stadium had 59,000 permanent seats, with the possible addition of 16,000 more portable seats. The next day 30,000 new tickets went on sale, with the provision that each ticket buyer was required to purchase at least a $25 War Bond. The higher dollar amount of bond purchased, the better the seat location for the game. Additionally, ticket purchasers were required to live within 8.3 miles of Baltimore.

The game was played on Saturday, December 2, 1944 amid snow flurries and in front of an announced crowd of 66,659. It was a brisk, chilly day, with game time temperatures hovering around twenty degrees. There was an impressive display of U.S. military brass present, and although President Roosevelt himself did not attend the game, his daughter Anna Boettiger did. The CBS radio network carried the contest beginning at 1:45pm Eastern War Time. A large portion of America, in addition to many American servicemen listening on shortwave radio overseas, were tuned in to what was being called “the most important football game of all time“. It was a thrilling, violent, close game; the score was Army 9 and Navy 7 going into the fourth quarter. In the end Army pulled out the win, 23-7. This was seen as a huge morale boost for Army. General Douglas MacArthur wired a telegram to Army coach Earl “Red” Blaik which read; “3 December 1944. URGENT URGENT URGENT URGENT---TO LT COL EARL BLAIK, US MILITARY ACADEMY-WEST POINT NY---The greatest of all Army teams---STOP---We have stopped the war to celebrate your magnificent success. MacArthur”. Today the game is widely regarded as the greatest game ever played in the Army-Navy series. In his book “A Team for America: The Army-Navy Game That Rallied a Nation” author Randy Roberts quotes reporter Al Laney : “There never has been a sports event, perhaps never an event of any kind, that received the attention of so many Americans in so many places around the world”. In the end, the tying of the ticket sales for the game into the Sixth War Loan Drive was reported to have raised an amazing $58,637,000 in Bond sales.


MOVIES AND THE SIXTH WAR LOAN DRIVE


On Wednesday November 15, the Capitol Theatre in New York City hosted the premiere of the film Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo as a bond drive promotion. This was the movie industry’s opening salvo in the Sixth War Loan Drive campaign.

On Friday November 17, there was a gala Sixth War Loan breakfast at New York’s Hotel Astor, hosted by Malcolm Kingsberg, chairman of the Motion Picture War Activities Committee for New York. Following the breakfast was a formal opening of the War Loan drive, which took place at the giant replica of the Statue of Liberty in Times Square. The New York opening festivities continued on Friday and Saturday with rallies staged at the base of the Statue replica, followed on Monday by the “Radio Revue” of programs at Madison Square Garden, hosted by Radio City Music Hall‘s Russell Market. Tickets for the Revue were obtained by purchasing war bonds at the one of the thirteen participating Broadway movie theatres. At noontime each day the War Activities Committee of the Motion Picture Industry held stage shows at the Times Square replica of the Statue of Liberty. The thirteen movie theatres alternated running the bond booth in the base of the Statue.

Newspapers reported that the December 7, 1944 “Pearl Harbor Free Movie Day” promotion resulted in war bond sales of $1,574,025.

Admission for the movies were free, if you purchased a war bond. Sixth War Loan Drive bond premiere films for January 13, 1945 included Irish Eyes Are Smiling, The Very Thought of You, None But the Lonely Heart, The Merry Monahans, The Conspirators, Kismet, Marriage is a Private Affair, The Rainbow, Mrs. Parkington, and Together Again

On Friday December 15, 1944 eight Loews movie theatres held “Midnight Bond Premieres”, which also featured live stage shows. The live show at the Loews King Theatre featured Martha Scott, Wendy Barrie, Victor Borge, Wilbur Evans, Jeri Sullivan, Louis Calhern, Val Valentino and Smith and Dale. There were also special Saturday Children’s Bond matinees, auctions and rallies.


RADIO AND THE SIXTH WAR LOAN DRIVE

There can be somewhat of a fine-line between what was “regular” World War II related programming on radio and those that were specifically referencing the Sixth War Loan Drive. The following list is by no means complete, though I have made every effort to include as much as possible. In particular, the local Sixth War Loan related programming that is listed here is heavily weighted toward the New York/ metropolitan area.


In November, 1944, the WFD Music Promotion Unit sent a new recording to stations on the West Coast, “Buy a Bond for a Soldier for Christmas”, presented by Renzo Cesans and sung by Bob Hannon, with music of Dave Brockman’s Treasury Orchestra.

According to the January 30, 1945 New York newspaper “PM”, “during 1944, the radio industry donated time and talent valued at $66,141,600 to war information for various Government agencies. For the Sixth War Loan Drive alone the industry chalked up an estimated 1,675,000,000 listener impressions”

All times listed are Eastern War Time, except where noted.

On Saturday, November 10, 1944 (Armistice Day)

Seemingly the first radio program devoted to the Sixth War Loan Drive aired before the official start date of the Drive itself. At 1:00pm NBC broadcast General A.A. Vandergrift, Secretary of Agriculture Claude Wickard at the opening of the Sixth War Loan Drive for Indiana at Indianapolis.

On Friday, November 17, 1944


At 12:03pm WMCA, New York aired the Dedication Ceremony of the Statue of Liberty replica in Times Square, for the opening of the Sixth War Loan Drive. The broadcast featured Major Leslie E. Thompson, Captain Maurice Witherspoon and others.

The Times Square Statue of Liberty replica stood six stories high, weighed fifteen tons, and had a stage built around the pedestal for the purpose of staging free shows and war bond rallies. It also featured a large cash register that kept a running dollar count of war bond sales during the Sixth War Loan Drive. According to the New York Times, the replica was declared “a hazard” and was demolished on November 17, 1945.

On Saturday, November 18, 1944

WMCA New York aired the “New York War Fund Program” at 6:45pm, with Jack Shafer and Patricia Wheel.

The first radio entertainment program dedicated to the Sixth War Loan drive aired on Saturday, November 18, 1944, from 10:30 pm to 11:00pm Eastern on NBC. “The Sixth War Loan Drive Program” featured host Bob Hope, along with Frances Langford, Jerry Colonna, and Rear Admiral Clark H. Woodward, among others, in a broadcast live from the Navy Pier in Chicago, where the Navy’s Pacific Theater Exhibit was opening.

At 8:30pm, NBC aired a War Bond concert live from Hunter College by the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Serge Koussevitsky. Tickets were available for purchase with a $100 or $1000 War Bond purchase.

On Sunday, November 19, 1944 the pace picked up, with the evening seeing each of the major radio networks supplying a half-hour program in a two hour block of Sixth War Loan Drive programs:

At 3:00pm WLIB New York aired a “Sixth War Loan Drive” program with Deems Taylor.

At 8:00pm the Blue Network presented “Miracle on the Pullman” a drama written by Ben Hecht and featuring Myrna Loy and Franchot Tone, with Henry Hull as the narrator.

At 8:30pm NBC presented “Mission Unaccomplished” by Robert E. Sherwood. Various newspapers also list this as “Mission Accomplished” and “Mission Uncompleted”. With Les Tremayne, Will Geer and Ralph Bellamy.

Next up at 9:00pm Mutual aired a special Sixth War Loan Drive program with heavyweight boxer Sgt. Joe Louis, Sammy Kaye, Jane Cowl, Gabriel Heatter, Walter Hampden, and singer John Baker.

Then at 9:30pm CBS broadcast “American Pilgrimage”, a tribute to servicemen, with pickups and interviews with the parents and other members of servicemen’s families from five homes across the country. With Cecil B. DeMille, Jean Hersholt, Milton Bacon and narrator Victor Jory

Finally, at 10:00pm Eastern, all of the networks carried “President Roosevelt Opening Sixth War Loan Drive”

At 10:45pm, “The Columbus Boys Choir” on Mutual program featured an appearance by the “famous Washington squirrel” Tommy Tucker.

From the ALBANY NY KNICKERBOCKER NEWS, November 18, 1944: “Squirrel Sings”
“It’s happened! A squirrel is going commercial! The world famous Washington squirrel “Tommy Tucker” already a veteran of a thousand personal appearances for War Bonds, will do his stint for the Sixth War Loan Drive when he makes his radio network debut on “The Columbus Boy Choir” on WABY tomorrow night at 10:45. Tommy, just an ordinary squirrel who fell out of a tree when an infant, to grow up to be one of the best known squirrels in the world, will be asked to speak his comments on children’s part in the new war loan drive”

I love the fact that the article calls Tommy Tucker ONE of the best known squirrels in the world. Was it a long list?
Tommy was quite the famous rodent, however. He toured America in the mid forties, supporting the war effort by promoting and selling war bonds. In January 1944, Tommy was even featured in a photo spread by Nina Leen in LIFE magazine. LIFE noted that a “Mrs. Mark Bullis of Washington, D.C“ (Zaidee Bullis), had adopted Tommy “before his eyes were open, when his mother died and left him in a tree”. Note the discrepancy with the Albany article, which states that Tommy fell out of the tree. In either case, the childless Mark and Zaidee first encountered Tommy in 1942. The magazine stated that Bullis’ main interest was dressing Tommy “in thirty specially made costumes. Tommy has a coat and hat for going to market, a silk pleated dress for company, (and) a Red Cross uniform for visiting the hospital”. His clothing collection also included a wedding dress. A silk pleated dress and a wedding dress? Yes, that’s correct, Tommy Tucker was not only a squirrel that dressed in human clothing; he was a cross-dressing squirrel that dressed in human clothing.

According to a 2012 Washington Post article, when Tommy passed away in June, 1949, the Bullis family sent him out to be stuffed by the taxidermy company the Jonas Bros. (insert music-related joke here), to be subsequently placed in a museum. He never made it, however: “Tommy’s mounted remains” (what a great name for a band) wound up in Maryland in the possession of Elaine Le Martine. (The Post article states that Zaidee Bullis was Elaine’s great Aunt). When Le Martine passed away in 2005, she left Tommy and all his belongings to the Smithsonian. The Post article notes that, along with the stuffed Tommy came a steamer trunk of artifacts, including some of his dresses, souvenir photographs, letters from schoolchildren, and even a letter from Jimmy Evans, commander of the B-17 bomber the Lucky Penny (“Dear Tommy, it sure was good hearing from you again and to learn you have a job, that of sponsoring the next War Bond Drive..”) As of the 2012 article the Smithsonian had not yet accepted the tiny cross-dressing war bond salesman.

At 11:00pm in Chicago, CBS presented a special episode of “We The People” from the Navy Pier in Chicago, with Comdr. Gene Tunney, Lt. Tyrone Power, Vice Admiral R.S. Edwards and Robert Le Tourneau. {{In New York We The People aired at 10:30pm on WABC}}

Finally, it seems odd but “The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny”, airing at 7:00 pm on NBC, does not mention the campaign at all.

On Monday November 20, 1944

November 20 saw a “Radio Revue” for the Sixth War Loan Drive staged at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, by Radio City Music Hall’s Russell Market.

“War Loan Program” with Senator James M. Mead, President of the New York City Council Newbold Morris and others, had the theme “Buy a Bond for Your Serviceman’s Baby”, and aired on WMCA in NY at 3:03, 4:15 and 5:15 pm

“Serenade to America: War Loan Show” aired from Madison Square Garden on WEAF in NY from 6:15-:40pm
Featuring Nan Merriman, Robert Merrill, Frank Black, among others

CBS presented their show “Vox Pop” from the Navy’s Sixth War Loan Exhibit in Chicago. With hosts Parks Johnson and Warren Hull.

The Blue Network aired a “Sixth War Loan Drive Show” at 8:00pm, followed by NBC’s “Sixth War Loan Drive Show” at 8:30 pm

“Blind Date: with host Arlene Francis aired from Madison Square Garden on the Blue Network from 8:30-9:00pm. This special war loan episode was “Million Dollar Blind Dates”, featuring “three famous Hollywood blondes” as the “dates”: Carole Landis, Betty Field, and Phyllis Brooks.

The game show “Quiz Kids” from Madison Square Garden aired on Mutual at 9:03 pm

“Spotlight Band” with the Les Brown Orchestra aired from Madison Square Garden on Blue Network from 9:30-9:55pm

The “Sixth War Loan Drive” concert was broadcast on NBC from 10:00-10:30pm. It featured Josephine Antoine, Reinhold Schmidt, Percy Faith’s Orchestra

“DR IQ” aired a War Loan Show from Madison Square Garden on NBC from 10:30-11pm

“Sixth War Loan Program” from Madison Square Garden aired on WABC NY (CBS network) from 11:30-12 midnight

In Washington DC. WWDC aired a two and a half hour special, “Stars on Parade”, live from Constitution Hall in Washington.

On Tuesday, November 21, 1944


CBS at 11:30 pm broadcast the “Sixth War Loan Show: Salute to the Lumber Industry”

On Wednesday, November 22, 1944


At 10:00pm NBC aired an episode of “Kay Kyser‘s College of Musical Knowledge“, which was broadcasting live from the Navy’s Sixth War Loan exhibit in Chicago, with Bob Hope as a guest.

Also at 10:00pm CBS broadcast a special war bond program “Great Moments in Music”. The program featured Jean Tennyson, soprano; Robert Weede, baritone; Jan Peerce, tenor, and George Sebastian, conductor. It also featured the song “God of Battles”, with the lyrics from a poem written by General George S. Patton, and music written by Peter De Rose.

On Thursday November 23, 1944 (Thanksgiving Day)

Each major radio network had set aside one specific bond-related day of programming. NBC’s “Bond Day” was Thanksgiving, a day which saw the network air close to twenty hours of Sixth War Loan-related programming.

NBC began their day early, at 6:00 am, with the “Thanksgiving Day Farm Program”, featuring a United States diplomatic Thanksgiving dinner in Moscow, in addition to remotes from Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Leyte, and Guam.

At 7:55 am NBC broadcast a “Thanksgiving Message” from Plymouth, Massachusetts featuring the Rev. Floyd Taylor.

At 9:58 am NBC aired the reading of President Roosevelt’s Thanksgiving Proclamation, and at 12:45pm presented a ten minute “War Loan Speakers” program.

CBS presented the annual “Elgin Thanksgiving Day Program” from 4 to 6 pm as had become custom, starring Jimmy Durante, Victor Moore, Ed Gardner, Edgar Bergen, Admiral Chester W Nimitz, and more.

At 9:00pm WNYC in New York presented a War Loan Concert from Town Hall by the Coast Guard Musicians

Then at 11:30 pm (8:30 Pacific), the NBC network broadcast “Let’s Talk Turkey to Japan”, a special 90 minute extravaganza designed to publicize the Sixth War Loan Drive. The hosting duty was shared by Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, and Eddie Cantor. Celebrities taking part in the special included Bob Hope, Amos n’ Andy (Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll), Kay Kyser and his orchestra, Joan Davis, Robert Young, Jack Haley, the Ken Darby Singers, Dinah Shore singing “Always“ and “Together“, Dick Powell performing “You Always Hurt the One You Love“, Ginny Simms singing “The Man I Love“, John Charles Thomas, The Charioteers, Harold Peary (The Great Gildersleeve) and Frank Morgan. The program consisted of comedy buts and musical numbers. Hosts Bing Crosby sang “Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive” and “White Christmas”, with Eddie Cantor singing a medley of George M. Cohan songs, and the Ken Darby singers performed the newly-written “Let’s Talk Turkey to Japan” along with “The Time Is Now”.

At 11:45pm WMCA NY aired a “Sixth War Loan Drive” with WAG Private Irene C. Mangum. Mangum, from Waco, Texas and a widower since 1933, worked in the surgical wards at the Army’s Bolling Filed Hospital in Washington, comforting the wounded men. One of her sons, Cecil, joined the Navy shortly after Pearl Harbor and had been killed on the beaches of Bouganville in November 1943. Another son was currently overseas in the Navy.

According to “Broadcasting“ magazine, the NBC Bond day was also filled with messages by high-ranking leaders from all fields, special programs such as pickups of Chaplain’s Thanksgiving graces at mess, wounded veterans expression of thanks for being again in the US and remotes from war plants at work across the country.

On Saturday, November 25, 1944

Comedian Ed Wynn guested this week on the weekly WMCA-NY “New York War Fund Program”, airing at 6:45pm.

On Sunday, November 26, 1944

WNYC, New York presented a “War Stamp Concert” at 1:30pm.

According to Broadcasting magazine, during the Sixth Loan Drive Dorothy Thompson’s program “Listen: The Women“, heard 4:00 pm Sundays on the Blue Network, centered about questions concerning War Bond sales

Remarkably, for the second consecutive week “The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny” makes no mention of the Sixth War Loan Drive whatsoever.

From 9:00 to 9:55 pm WQXR, New York aired the “National Orchestral Association War Bond Concert”

At 11:30pm NBC broadcast “Pacific Story”, with H.H. Chang asking people to buy bonds during the War Loan Drive.

On Monday, November 27, 1944


WNYC, NY aired the “U.S. Treasury Sixth War Loan Drive” at 6:30pm.

CBS aired the “Sixth War Loan Program of the American Hotel Association” from Memphis, Tennessee, at 11:30pm.

On Tuesday, November 28, 1944


As noted, each network was hosting it’s own particular “Bond Day”: November 28 was “Independents Bond Day”, with independent radio stations around the country scheduling their own local Sixth War Loan Drive programming.

WLS Chicago reported that its activities for Independents Bond Day, November 28, included a series of 15 one-minute announcements by station talent and heads of various WLS departments, promotion on nearly every program and station break of the Sixth War Loan exhibits at the Chicago Navy Pier, and a Sixth Loan edition of the daily noontime “Dinner Bell” program which featured a wire recording of the US Marine Corps “Mock Invasion of Chicago” made the previous Sunday, and an interview with Col A Pierce, officer in charge of the Marine exhibit. Also Julian Bentley’s 12:30pm, 2:45 pm and 6:30pm newscasts were originated in behalf of the Drive from the Radio Electronics Exhibit at the Navy Pier.

The radio industry‘s “Broadcasting” magazine reported that in conjunction with the independent radio stations’ Bond Day on November 28, 1944, the United States Treasury War Finance Division conducted a “spot check” on how they were implementing Sixth War Loan Drive promotions. Some of the results:

KVI in Tacoma, Washington was airing all the “Treasury Salutes”, live announcements, jingles, Horace Heidt and ASCAP records, and was airing daily a quarter-hour program at 1:30 pm and a half hour show at 5:00pm, “both slanted at women listeners”.

KGHF Pueblo, Col ---No special events to date. Carrying all Blue Bond shows as well as Treasury material, both live and transcribed. Suggested Bond plugs to advertisers.

KVSF Santa Fe, NM ---Using all Treasury material, also eight spots daily. Broadcasting daily half hour live program in morning for women audience and also daily 9:30 pm half-hour phone subscription series.

WAPI in Birmingham, Alabama aired a half-hour state hookup on the opening day of the Sixth War Loan, and aired broadcasts from Worthington General Hospital. “Treasury Salutes” scheduled 8:15am. ASCAP and Horace Heidt discs in evening. Local Bond committees using station facilities with at least one show a day

The Sunday children’s show “Uncle Mac” on station WQAM in Miami, Florida allowed children that had purchased bonds to attend the live broadcast. Aired a daily 6:30-6:45pm sports show aired for Sixth Loan. Using WFD recordings, Bond Briefs, ASCAP discs, Horace Heidt series. Special shows slated from local Army hospitals. Local Bond committees using several broadcasts per week.

WWDC in Washington D.C. aired the 150 minute “Stars On Parade” rally live from Constitution Hall, and on Thursdays was broadcasting a fifteen minute show from Walter Reed General Hospital.

KERN Bakersfield Cal---All Treasury material being used. Thanksgiving Day Bond Show aired as well as WFC boxing and wrestling contest on Nov 17

Martin Block, of WNEW New York’s “Make Believe Ballroom” program, auctioned autographed copies of records made after the relaxing of the AFM boycott against disc production. Broadcasting magazine noted that Block sold more than $10,000 worth of War Bonds during just the first quarter hour of the auction.

Station WHN in New York conducted a “Dream Date for Bonds” contest for war workers and those under twenty-five; contestants had to submit a letter stating why they wished to date a “certain favorite”, along with a receipt for the purchase of a war bond.

WJZ, New York presented special rallies at local shipyards and war plants, and WOV New York conducted two campaigns during the Sixth War Loan, “Back Up Our Boys With Bonds” and “Celebrate Christmas With a Clear Conscience--Buy Bonds, Not Baubles”.

Over on NBC, “Fibber McGee and Molly” originated from the Pacific Theatre’s Navy Exhibit for the Sixth War Loan Drive on the Navy Pier in Chicago

On Wednesday, November 29, 1944


NBC’s “Eddie Cantor Show” at 9:00pm originated from the Sixth War Loan Exhibit at the Navy Pier in Chicago.

On Thursday, November 30, 1944

The Mutual Network presented a special St. Andrews Day “War Loan Parade” featuring the Marine Corps Bagpipe Band.

WNYC New York broadcast a “War Loan Drive Program” at 6:30pm

The Blue Network’s “Spotlight Bands” series at 9:30pm featured Harry James and His Orchestra, from a war bond rally in San Diego.

Television station WCBW, channel 2 in New York, broadcast the “VI for Victory Bond Rally and Variety Show” starring Paul Draper, Frank Parker, and others. The thirty minute program aired at 8:15 pm.

On Friday, December 1, 1944

December 1 was “Bond Day” for the Blue Network. Almost every quarter hour appeals for war bond sales were broadcast, featuring such speakers as Don McNeal, John P. Kennedy, Cliff Arquette, Tom Breneman, newscaster Baukhage, Walter Kiernan, Dorothy Thompson, Westbrook Van Vorhis, Ed East, Milton Cross, Ed Wynn, Harry Wismer, Henry J. Taylor, the Lone Ranger, Ethel Barrymore, Allen Young, Milton Burrough, Walter Winchell, Jimmy Fidler, Herbert Marshall, Fred Waring, Horace Heidt, and Guy Lombardo.

At 11:30 to 11:55 pm Blue presented the “Dave Ellman Victory Bond Auction”

CBS’ “The Camel Program” starring Garry Moore and Jimmy Durante, broadcast live from the Navy’s Sixth War Loan Exhibit in Chicago.

According to “Broadcasting” magazine, for their Bond day regular Blue programs such as “Appointment With Life” and “Keeping Posted” were rewritten with special Sixth Loan emphasis, and a George Hick battle recording was presented at 8:45 am.

On Saturday, December 2, 1944


Airing at 10:00 am, CBS’ “Youth on Parade” program was devoted to the loan in salute to junior war bond salesmen.

CBS covered the Army-Navy football game at 1:45pm. Ticket buyers had been required to purchase war bonds.

WMCA NY’s weekly “New York War Fund Show” this week featured guest Jay Jostyn.

On Sunday, December 3, 1944

In New York, at 12:15pm WNYC aired a “Treasury Concert”, at 1:15pm WOR (Mutual) broadcast a “Sixth War Loan Drive Contest” and at 3:00pm aired “Two Cities Quiz”. On this program eight members of the Treasury Department, representing Sixth War Loan committees, competed as teams from Chicago vs. New York.

At 7:00pm on NBC, the “Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny” did their part to plug the Sixth War Loan Drive. During the program, Jack and Rochester tune in Walter Winchell on their radio:

Winchell (Filter): “Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America, this is Walter Winchell doing a special broadcast for the Sixth War Loan”
Jack: “Hey listen, Rochester, that’s Walter Winchell!”
(applause)
Winchell: “Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is the Sixth time we’re having a War Bond drive, but war is an expensive proposition. There’s no way to economize---there are no bargain basements in war, no cut rate sales. Everything must be paid for in cash, and in blood. And you’re only asked to put up the cash! I know you bought bonds during the other drives, but so did everyone else. Your bond is just as important as your neighbor’s. There are no slackers on a battlefield---so let’s have none here. Remember, you must do your share! This is no time to pass the buck---unless you pass it across the counter for a war bond!”


At 11:30pm on NBC’s “Pacific Story”, in a pickup from Honolulu, HI, Vice Admiral Calhoun discusses the Sixth War Loan campaign

On Monday, December 4, 1944

WABC in New York broadcast another Sixth War Loan Show from the American Hotel Association, this time from Pittsburgh PA and Houston TX, from 11:30 pm to midnight

On Tuesday, December 5, 1944

New York television station WABD, channel 4, presents the “War Bond Show” from 8:15 pm to 9:00 pm

On Wednesday, December 6, 1944


NBC presented “The Show Goes On”, a Sixth War Loan program hosted by Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. The 60 minute program aired at 11:30 pm Eastern, and also featured Dinah Shore, James Cagney, Fred Astaire, Frances Langford and Edgar Bergen with Charlie McCarthy, Ann Sheridan, Al Jolson, Paulette Goddard, and Jerry Colona. Jack Benny and Eddie Anderson were scheduled to appear, but during the closing dialog on his Lucky Strikes program aired on December 10, 1944, Jack apologizes that he could not appear on the special due to “technical difficulties”.

The topic of the WMCA, New York program “Business Forum” airing at 9:30pm, was “The Sixth War Loan”, with guests Frederick W. Gehle, Lieut. Col. David Brady, Maj. Theodore Fredenburgh, and Neal Dow Becker.

On Thursday, December 7, 1944 (Pearl Harbor Day)


The CBS network had their Bond day on December 7, the third anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. According to one report, the network incorporated the day’s theme, “Buy More Bonds” into fifty-eight programs broadcast from 6:00 am to midnight, including three special broadcasts. Coordinating all of the CBS Sixth Loan activities was Lt Howard G Barnes, US Navy, who has been assigned during the Campaign to Treasury and was “on loan” to CBS.

WNEW in New York aired the “Pearl Harbor Day War Loan Show” from the War Finance Headquarters in New York, from 4:00 to 4:15 pm. With Clarence Foss, Frederick W. Gehle and Harry Brown.

From 5:00 to 5:15pm CBS broadcast it‘s first special of the day, “The Sixth War Loan Program” from Los Angeles/Hollywood, featuring Walt Disney.

CBS aired it‘s second special of the day, “Finish The Job” from 8:00 to 8:55 pm, narrated by Ralph Bellamy., produced and directed by Robert Louis Shayon, who co-wrote the special with Bob Sloane. Worldwide pickups were slated for the broadcast, which presented a chronological survey of the war up to the present, featuring wounded servicemen and the families of servicemen killed in action.

Their third CBS special, “Freedom In Their Eyes” was broadcast by CBS at 11:30pm. It starred Mady Christians, Captain Maurice Britt, and former Army lieutenant Dean Chatlain (Chatlain, author of the poem “What Did You Do Today, My Friend?”, sung on this program by Master of Ceremonies Lawrence Tibbett, had amputated his own foot while under enemy fire in Tunisia). Please note that Broadcasting magazine had noted this upcoming special as being titled “And Some Shall Return”

On television, at 9:00 pm WCBW, Chanel 2 in New York aired a program of Sixth War Loan Films, including “Freedom Comes High” and “A Start in Life”.

On Friday, December 8, 1944


CBS aired a “Sixth War Loan Special” at 7:15pm, “The Dead Tell No Lies”

On Saturday, December 9, 1944

CBS’ “Youth on Parade” program at 10:00am was again devoted to the loan in salute to junior war bond salesmen

WMCA NY’s weekly “New York War Fund Show” aired at 6:45pm, with Jack Shafer.

The Blue Network aired a “Sixth War Loan Show” play, titled “The Bowl and The Picture” at 1:00pm. It featured Mady Christians and Oscar Homolka.. Blue also aired the New York Metropolitan Opera “Opera Victory Rally” at 5:24pm.

At 11:30pm CBS broadcast a Sixth War Loan play entitled “Peace and Dynamite”. The play concerned Alfred Bernhard Nobel, inventor of dynamite and the posthumous creator of the Nobel Peace Prize. December 10 would be the forty-eighth anniversary of his death.

On Sunday, December 10, 1944


At 7:00pm NBC aired the weekly episode of “The Lucky Strike Program Starring Jack Benny“. The recording that circulates of the program was sourced from an Armed Forces Radio Service broadcast. Therefore, as usual in an AFRS recording, there are no Lucky Strike ads, and in place of Jack Benny's usual closing "tag" is a song by Larry Stevens, "Let Me Love You Tonight". However, the tag that is missing from the circulating recording is revealed by the script to have consisted of Jack apologizing for not appearing for his scheduled part in a Sixth War Loan Drive radio program that aired on December 6, 1944:

Jack Benny: "Ladies and gentlemen, last Wednesday night there was a big Sixth War Loan program on the air, and I was supposed to talk to you from the Torney General Hospital in Palm Springs...but due to technical difficulties they couldn't tune me in. However, what I had planned to say then, I'd like you to hear now. At the Torney General Hospital I talked to a lot of our boys...boys I met in the South Pacific this summer. In fact, three of them---Private Bidwell M. Clayton, Sergeant William R. Parsons, Jr, and Corporal Edward J. Bedwell---were supposed to be on this particular bond program with me. I wanted them to tell you what they told me that afternoon. They told me that they and all their buddies bought bonds during every one of the bond drives...whether they were in Guadalcanal, Buna, Tarawa, New Guinea or any other battlefield. So you see, ladies and gentlemen...these soldiers were not only fighting but also backing themselves up. So let us back them up more than ever. Buy bonds---you're not spending, you're saving...not only money, but lives. Thank you"

At 9:00pm WQXR New York presented the “National orchestral Association War Bond Concert”

“Pacific Story” aired on CBS at 11:30pm. Colonel Frank Kurtz and his wife Margo discuss the Sixth War Loan Drive.

On Monday, December 11, 1944


At 11:30pm CBS aired the “Sixth War Loan Show”. Other details not available.

On Tuesday, December 12, 1944

The New York television station WABD, Channel 4, broadcasts the “Sixth War Loan Show” at 9:30pm.

On Wednesday, December 13, 1944

From 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm station WEVD, New York airs the “Sixth War Loan Show” from the Public Theatre. Harry Hershfield, Molly Picon, Jennie Goldstein and others. WEVD specialized in Yiddish programming

The Blue Network aired the 15-minute “Sixth War Loan Show” (aka “Treasury Program”) at 10:15, featuring journalist Raymond Gram Swing, Daniel Bell (editor of “New Leader“ magazine), and banker Randolph Burgess.

On Friday, December 15, 1944


From 7:00 pm to 7:15 pm, CBS aired a Sixth War Loan Show, “The Candle and The Gun”, featuring Larry Haines, Billy Quinn, Gertrude Berg, and others.

“The Candle and The Gun” had originally been aired on Wednesday, February 23 1944 by CBS at 6:30pm for National Brotherhood Week. The play was written by Mari Yanofsky, who was a scriptwriter at radio station WHP, the CBS affiliate in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Airing at 10:00pm, CBS‘ series “The Camel Program”, starring Garry Moore and Jimmy Durante, was broadcast from Cleveland, Ohio for the Sixth War Loan Drive, to an audience of over three thousand war bond buyers

WMCA New York broadcast the “Sixth War Loan Drive Victory Auction” hosted by Jerry Lawrence, from 9:30-10:00pm. The show featured Paul Muni, among other celebrities. Auction items included a letter from Abraham Lincoln, and one thousand packs of “I Shall Return” matchbooks, the kind that General MacArthur’s men dropped over Leyte.

On Saturday, December 16, 1944


On the official final day of the Sixth War Loan Drive, the Mutual Broadcasting System (MBS) became the last network to have a fully-devoted “War Bonds” day.

At 1:00pm NBC broadcasts the program “Puerto Rican Bond Purchase, Sixth War Loan Drive”, featuring Governor Rex Tugwell.

Mutual broadcast “Women’s Fight For Victory”, a Sixth War Loan Drive special featuring First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, with Mrs. Jimmy Doolittle, Ruth Chatterton, Jane Cowl and Mrs. Pat O’Brien.

At 6:45pm WMCA NY broadcast it’s weekly “New York War Fund Program”.

At 8:15pm Mutual aired the “Report on the Sixth War Loan” by Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau.

At 11:15pm CBS airs their final 45-minute Sixth War Loan Show, “This Is the Word”, starring Rear Admiral Clark W. Woodward, Tallulah Bankhead, Martha Scott, Louis Calhern, Berry Kroeger, and others.

At 11:30pm on Mutual was the “Navy Bond Show: The Story of Naval Supply”

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