100 years ago in The Record
Friday, Oct. 12, 1917
Troy has been assigned a $7,000,000 goal for the Second Liberty Loan campaign to raise money for the U.S. war against Germany, The Record reports.
The amount to be raised is equivalent in buying power to more than $127,000,000 in 2017 money. It will be raised through purchases of Liberty Bonds that will be redeemed with interest by the federal government after the war. The Collar City was given a $4,000,000 goal for the First Liberty Loan drive last June.
“We have started the ball rolling and it will not stop until we have secured the seven million dollars asked of us,” E. Harold Cluett tells a kickoff meeting of Liberty Loan committees at Y.M.C.A. Hall, “This is no time to quibble, it is a time to aid. Whether we consider the government unjust or not, it has done the best it is able to do and we must give the best we have in doing our par.”
“A more energetic and enthusiastic group of workers has not been assembled in many years to carry on a patriotic work such as the present occasion demands,” our reporter writes. William J. Roche whips up their enthusiasm with an energetic speech.
“We went into this war because we could not do anything else and be America, and be Americans” Roche says, “Out soldiers are across the seas and thousands of others are on the way … who will fight and die or be wounded that liberty may live and be extended, that there may be an end to the atrocities which have shamed Christianity and shaken civilization, and that humanity and justice may become unquestioned and undying principles and practices among all the peoples of the earth.”
Civilians have a crucial role in the world war, Roche notes. “Our government calls upon its people to uphold the cause, to fight and clothe and equip the men who are at the front, on land and on sea…. This must be done by the power of money as well as by the brains and arms of the fighting forces. The dollar must precede, or at least at all times accompany the bullet and the torpedo.
Troy’s quota “is a big job,” Roche says, “but big men do big jobs. It calls for labor, enthusiastic and unremitting labor.
“The office must be closed; the books on the desk must be shut, the neighbor must be enlisted for his subscription, whether large or small; the needs must be explained; the indifferent must be aroused and the patriotic must be inspired to do the full measure of the occasion and the demand.”