Introduction

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“Banquet for 7th War Bond Drive,” Atlanta, Georgia, 1959. Courtesy of the Georgia State University Library Special Collections and Archives via Digital Library of Georgia.

Bonds and Rations

The sale of US Government Defense Savings Bonds, or “war bonds,” helped the United States government raise billions of dollars for the war effort and combat inflation. Bonds were sold at a discount, and were ultimately cashed in when they reached maturity after the war. The sale of war bonds were promoted by celebrities, who appeared at bond rallies to encourage their purchase.

City dwelling consumers and grocers in Georgia found that food supplies and consumer essentials were increasingly hard to come by. Grocers tried to limit hoarding by raising prices; customers complained over the inflated price of goods. Ultimately, in 1942, rationing was implemented nationally by the Office of Price Administration to protect consumers and ensure that materials needed for the war effort were available.

Beginning in March of 1943, canned fruits and vegetables were rationed. Although most rural residents of Georgia were already growing their own food and canning their own produce, urban and suburban families were encouraged to plant “victory gardens” and to can produce at home. Victory gardens and home canning made it possible for produce to be used for the Allied war effort, reduced the use of tin, and eased the strain on transporting foodstuffs.