Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Movie Stars on Liberty Loan Drive (USA, 1918)

During World War I the American government sold Liberty Bonds to support the Allied cause. Subscribing to the bonds became a symbol of patriotic duty in the United States.

4th Liberty Loan poster (1918)

The response to the first Liberty Bond was unenthusiastic and Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo reacted to the sales problems by creating an aggressive campaign to popularize the bonds. The government used the Committee on Public Information, America's wartime propaganda agency, to help sell Liberty Bonds. Famous movie stars such as Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin were among the celebrities that made public appearances promoting the idea that purchasing a liberty bond was the patriotic thing to do.

Hollywood Film Stars

The National Archives in Washington, D.C., has an interesting 5-reel film on various Liberty Loan campaigns that were organized throughout the country. Reel 2 is of special interest because it shows film stars Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and Marie Dressler selling bonds during a Washington parade. Reel 3 has scenes showing Japanese movie star Sessue Hayakawa and Blanche Sweet speaking and selling bonds in Hollywood.

We uploaded these scenes showing the American film stars promoting Liberty Loans on our YouTube channel.


Friday, August 24, 2018

"Celebrations in Paris" (France, 14 July 1918)

Here is a short clip that was found recently in the collection of the Imperial War Museum, showing an official American cinematographer at work during the celebrations of the 14th of July 1918 in Paris.

Unfortunately, we could not establish the identity of the cameraman.