Fifth War Loan Drive June 12, 1944

The Fifth War Loan Drive was initiated to raise money for the US effort in World War II. It was conducted from June 12 through July 8, 1944. The previous Drive was just a few months earlier, in January and February. After WWII, the War Loans would eventually transform into the US Savings Bond program. The particular Drive began with this hour-long program that played on the major radio networks simultaneously. On FDR's recommendation, Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau asked Orson Welles to lead the program, and he agreed. The live broadcast originated from Texarkana, Texas. FDR spoke on the program. The primary narrative of the broadcast underscored the causes of the War. Because this broadcast was just a week after the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France, there was greater interest and enthusiasm to support the war effort because of the new military progress. The goal was to sell $16 billion in bonds, which was exceeded. There were two other broadcasts, one on June 14 from the Hollywood Bowl, and another on June 16 from Soldier Field in Chicago. In all, sales were $20.6 billion, which is the equivalent of $304 billion in US$ in 2020. FDR and Morgenthau appeared on the program, along with performers Agnes Moorehead, Keenan Wynn, Lois Andrews, Edgar Barrier, Walter Huston, Gloria Jean, Alan Napier, and Natalie Darby. Welles wrote and directed the program. * * * These recordings are part of the Joe Hehn Memorial Collection. Mr. Hehn (1931-2020) was a pioneering collector of radio recordings when the hobby emerged in the 1960s. Digitizing his collection of reel tapes and discs is the effort of a wide range of North American volunteers, and includes assistance of some international collectors. The groups supporting this effort with their funds, time, technology and skills are the Old Time Radio Researchers and a small group of transcription disc preservationists who refer to themselves as the "The Knights of the Turning Table."

This recording is part of the Old Time Radio collection.