Wednesday, April 15, 2009

From the Archives - Propaganda Pin

This week, we're taking a look at the artifacts in our permanent collection.

This 1917 pin urging citizens to "get behind the government" is a lot less subtle than modern propaganda. But then again, the push to popularize war bonds during World War I was one of the White House's largest mass persuasion campaigns. (And one of the most successful - the government raised $17 billion.) Celebrities like Charlie Chaplin and Al Jolson were called on to design posters and stage rallies, and Boy and Girl Scouts sold bonds in their communities. Clearly, someone living in 97 Orchard got caught up in all the fervor. We found this pin in on the fifth floor of the building, in the floorboards outside Apartment # 16. It wasn't until the 9/11 attacks that the government started issuing liberty bonds again, in order to revitalize the Financial District. This time, it didn't hand out pins and posters on the streets.

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