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August 1, 2019

Photos of Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford Promoting the Sale of Liberty Bonds in 1918

These photos captured Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford promoting the sale of Liberty Bonds during World War I at the United States Sub Treasury building (now Federal Hall) in New York City on April 8, 1918. The three stars appeared together in D.C., New York, and then split up to tour the country on behalf of the Bond Drive.

Chaplin was a prominent figure in the silent film era, known for his iconic on-screen persona, The Tramp. He remains one of the most recognized and influential figures in film history. The following year, he, along with Mary Pickford and D.W. Griffith, founded United Artists to gain more creative control over their work.

The actors participated in a government campaign to enlist celebrities in boosting Liberty Bond sales during World War I. The U.S. had joined the war in April 1917, and while there was strong support for the war effort, bond sales needed a boost. Many Americans were unfamiliar with purchasing bonds.

The celebrity-endorsed sales campaign proved successful, with the Wall Street rally and other celebrity events and tours reinvigorating war bond sales across the nation.



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