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1942: The $9 billion victory loan drive

Lead Summary
Steve Roush-
Ladies and gentlemen, in late 1942, Highland County was asked to raise $882,000 as the nation kicked off a one-month, $9 billion victory loan drive to support the war effort.

With a week to go, the county had roughly a quarter of a million dollars to raise to meet the quota. Now, that’s a lot of money even today, but remember, $250,000 in 1942 is worth more than $4 million here in good ol’ 2021. Passionate editorials were written, and solicitors scoured the county in an effort to sell bonds to residents.

However, when the drive hit the finish line, it was reported in the newspapers that Highland County fell short of the mark by $163,000, and when last-minute money was counted, that total was amended to $122,805.

Around Highland County, roughly $457,000 in war bonds were sold in Hillsboro. Greenfield bought up more than $183,000, and for Leesburg and Lynchburg, the total was approximately $60,000 for each community.

Granville Barrere, the chairman of the Highland County Victory Fund Committee and longtime newspaperman, gave kudos those who assisted with the drive, writing, “On behalf of the Victory Fund Committee of Highland County, I take this means of sincerely thanking all of the men and women who assisted in the Victory Loan dive in Highland County. Soliciting of any kind is unpleasant. Just before Christmas, everyone is very busy and it is quite a hardship at that time for a person to take the time to call on persons and ask them to purchase the bonds of their government. But with few exceptions, every person asked to do this work responded and faithfully made the calls assigned to him. They deserve the thanks and commendation of all our people for their fine patriotic service. They did an unpleasant task well.”

Yes, I’d say $759,195 is a job well done, indeed.

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As for the $9 billion victory loan drive, it was reported that quota “had been exceeded by over $1 billion and be estimated that over $11 billion would be subscribed.”

Folks were also reminded and urged to keep buying bonds because “the war must be financed and a steady flow of money from the sale of bonds and notes is necessary to carry on the war to victory.”

As the victory loan drive comes to an end and Highland County rings in 1943, let’s pause for now, and we’ll continue next time.

Steve Roush is vice chairman of the Highland County Historical Society Board of Trustees, a vice president of an international media company and a columnist and contributing writer for The Highland County Press. He can be reached by email at

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