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«CHAPTER 3 “BONDS OR BONDAGE?”: THE POCKETBOOK Private financial matter took on a public urgency during World War II. The United States government ...»

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women, and certainly their financial sacrifices affected their budgets; however, they interpreted purchasing war bonds as a mundane activity. None of them mentioned specific things or activities they sacrificed in order to finance war bonds. Such connections would be unpatriotic. In addition, connecting themselves to wartime activity- in this case providing financial assistance to the war effort- made the women feel that they contributed to the Allied victory.

Not all women invested money in war bonds. Two women interviewed said they could not afford to buy bonds. 15 Sallye Crawford stated she did not make enough money teaching and Evalina Williams stated that with young children to feed and clothe, her budget did not allow it. Neither woman apologized nor indicated that they had failed to live up to their patriotic duties, but both women felt compelled to provide reasons why they did not purchase bonds.

Personal finances became part of the public discourse during the war. The contents of the once private pocketbook of citizens across the country and in Wilmington became a subject of debate for the nation. National and local companies ran advertisements for war bonds in an attempt to combine patriotism with the promotion of their products. Government propaganda and advertisements conjured up images of communities threatened by the enemy and depicted women and children as the vulnerable 13 Mary Bellamy.

14 Glenn Higgins, interview by author, 14 January 2003, Wilmington, North Carolina, tape recording; Clara Welker, interview by author, 14 January 2003, Wilmington, North Carolina, tape recording; Manette Mintz, interview by author, 21 November 2002, Wilmington, North Carolina; Aline Hartis, interview by author, 19 November 2002, Wilmington, North Carolina, tape recording.

15 Sallye Crawford, interview by author, Wilmington, North Carolina, 14 January 2003, tape recording;

Evalina Williams, interview by author, 11 December 2002, Wilmington, North Carolina, tape recording.

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the war, women in Wilmington did not associate the once obvious connection between patriotism and war bonds. Instead, they interpreted their participation in the financial support of the war effort as significant, but a routine expectation of the era.

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