The American public first had the opportunity to loan money to the United States Government in 1776 when private citizens shelled out more than $27 million for government bonds to help finance the American Revolution. This tradition has continued down through the years. By buying bonds, American families have bankrolled not only the cost of various wars but have helped purchase the Louisiana Territory and financed the building of the Panama Canal, as well as many other major acquisitions and public works projects.

Buying savings bonds is an old American tradition. During WWII the workers in defense plants were encouraged to buy bonds with automatic payroll deductions. School children brought nickels to school on "Bond Day" and were given a stamp for each nickel. The stamps were then pasted in "bond books" which, when full, could be traded for a Savings Bond.

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