Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


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Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.
  98. Radio Remarks Opening the Opportunity Savings Bond Drive  
May 16, 1949

[Broadcast from the White House at 11:23 p.m.]

My fellow citizens:

The Opportunity Savings Bond Drive should have the support of all citizens. It is part of the effort we are all making together for the good of one another, for the security of our country, and for the peace of the world.

The practice of buying Government bonds goes back to the earliest days of our Republic. One hundred and sixty years ago Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, appealed to the wealthy people of the country to invest in securities of the Government. There were two reasons why his appeal was addressed to the wealthy. In the first place, there were few persons in those days who had funds that they could invest in bonds. Secondly, these wealthy people had great influence; and Hamilton wanted them to have a stake in the success of the Federal Government so they would give it their support.

We have come a long way since that time. The Federal Government, whose very survival was then uncertain, is today the safest place in the world in which to invest money.

Furthermore, it is no longer just a wealthy few who are able to buy Government bonds. Today, millions of Americans--farmers, workers, and professional people, as well as merchants and bankers--own Government bonds.

These changes which have taken place since the early days of our Republic are of profound significance. They mark the success which has attended our efforts to establish a nation of free people in which all men have a fair chance to share in the benefits of their labor.

We are going ahead to build further on these foundations. We shall strengthen our social security system, improve our laws protecting the rights of workers, and strengthen our program for assuring a fair income to the farmer. We shall work constantly to bring greater happiness and greater opportunity to all our citizens.

In this effort, every family has a part. The Government can help to provide opportunity, but it requires self-reliance and determination on the part of the individuals to take advantage of that opportunity for themselves. Every family should be planning and working toward a better future for itself. Every family should be saving what it can in order to obtain a better home, better equipment for the farm, a college education for the children, or economic independence. There is no better way of doing this than through the purchase of Government bonds. And the sum total of the bonds that all our families buy means purchasing power and opportunity for the whole country in the future.

Like most citizens, I have a natural pride in my home community. Consequently, I am happy to be able to announce that Jackson County, Mo., has already exceeded the
$7 million quota which was established for it for this drive. I am sure that citizens in other parts of the country will show just as much interest as the people of Jackson County in taking advantage of the real opportunities offered to them in this bond drive.

The purchase of savings bonds by millions of our citizens in the past few years has demonstrated our unity and our faith in our democratic institutions. In the Opportunity Bond Drive we shall give a further demonstration of that unity and that faith.

NOTE: The President spoke from the White House at the conclusion of an hour-long program by stage and screen stars in aid of the bond drive. He was introduced by John W. Snyder, Secretary of the Treasury, who spoke from Kansas City, Mo.
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.