Liberty Bond History
Liberty bonds were first utilized during the first World War to support the allied cause in World War I. Subscribing to the bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States and introduced the idea of financial securities to many citizens for the first time. This allowed private citizens to purchase a bond to help support the military effort. After the war, the bond could be redeemed for its purchase price plus interest.
A Liberty bond will have a maturation date somewhere on the front on the bond. A maturation date is the earliest someone can redeem the value plus interest. Liberty Bonds from WWI do not continue to earn interest. The redemption value is usually the face value of the bond plus any unused coupons attached to the bond.
You can call your bank to find out the redemption value and/or you can call 703-787-3552 to find out what someone would buy it for as a collectible.
There were four issues of Liberty Bonds:
- Apr 24, 1917 Emergency Loan Act authorizes issue of $5 billion in bonds at 3.5 percent.
- Oct 1, 1917 Second Liberty Loan offers $3 billion in bonds at 4 percent.
- Apr 5, 1918 Third Liberty Loan offers $3 billion in bonds at 4.5 percent.
- Sep 28, 1918 Fourth Liberty Loan offers $6 billion in bonds at 4.25 percent.
|Jul 28, 1914||World War I begins with Austria-Hungary’s declaration of war against Serbia.|
|Jul 31, 1914||New York Stock Exchange closes because of European Crisis. (Reopens Dec. 12).|
|Aug 1914||Emergency currency is issued under Aldrich Vreeland Act.|
|Aug 1, 1914||German declares war on Russia (France on Aug. 3, Britain on Aug. 4). Austria-Hungary declares war on Russia and Japan declares war on Germany in August.|
|Nov 16, 1914||Federal Reserve Banks open for business.|
|Jan 25, 1915||Telephone service begins between New York and San Francisco.|
|Oct 15, 1915||U.S. bankers float $500 million loan to Britain and France at 5 percent.|
|Sep 8, 1916||Emergency Revenue Act doubles income tax rates, adds estate tax and munitions profits tax, and establishes Tariff Commission.|
|Nov 7, 1916||Wilson is reelected as President.|
|Feb 3, 1917||USS “Housatonic” is sunk by German submarine, and U.S. breaks diplomatic relations with Germany.|
|Mar 3, 1917||Special Preparedness Fund Act provides for excess profit taxes and higher inheritance taxes.|
|Apr 2, 1917||Wilson calls special session of Congress for declaration of war against Germany. (On April 4, Senate votes for war and house concurs on April 6.)|
|Apr 24, 1917||Emergency Loan Act authorizes issue of $5 billion in bonds at 3.5 percent.|
|Jun 21, 1917||Federal Reserve Act is amended to encourage membership, mobilize gold reserves, and facilitate issue of notes.|
|Oct 1, 1917||Second Liberty Loan offers $3 billion in bonds at 4 percent.|
|Oct 3, 1917||War Revenue Act doubles income taxes, provides for excess profits tax, and imposes many excises.|
|Nov 6, 1917||Russian Bolshevist overthrow Kerensky’s Provisional Government, placing Lenin in power.|
|Dec 7, 1917||U.S. declares war on Austria-Hungary.|
|Dec 26, 1917||The U.S. Railroad Administration takes charge of the nation’s railroads.|
|Apr 5, 1918||Third Liberty Loan offers $3 billion in bonds at 4.5 percent.|
|Sep 28, 1918||Fourth Liberty Loan offers $6 billion in bonds at 4.25 percent.|