Harry S. Truman photo

Radio Address Opening the Defense Bond Drive.

September 03, 1951

[Broadcast from San Francisco at 7:55 p.m.]

Fellow Americans:

Six years ago, here in San Francisco, the United Nations was formed. It was our purpose then to prevent another world war. That is still our purpose.

The United Nations was established to unite the moral forces of the world for peace, and to organize the strength of many nations to keep the peace.

In these last 6 years there have been many difficulties and obstructions. But today the United Nations is doing exactly what it was set up to do.

When aggression came in Korea, the United Nations took action. It labeled the aggression for what it was, it branded the North Korean and the Chinese Communists as the aggressors. It called upon peace-loving countries to unite and put down aggression.

That is what we have been doing. Young men from the United States have been fighting heroically, alongside young men from many other countries, to stop aggression in Korea. For they know, and we know, that if aggression were not checked in Korea, it would only be a matter of time until a new world war brought destruction and misery to all of us.

For the past several weeks there have been negotiations in Korea, at the suggestion of the Communist aggressors, for an armistice there as the first step to a peaceful settlement. Recently the Communists have broken off these negotiations. We do not know whether they intend to resume them or not. We are ready at any time to reach an honorable settlement in Korea, but we will not give in to aggression.

Whether negotiations in Korea are successful or not, we must continue to drive ahead to build defensive strength for our country and the free world. The plain fact is that the Communists may try to resume the offensive in Korea at any time. Moreover, they are capable of launching new attacks in Europe, in the Middle East, or elsewhere in Asia, wherever it suits them.

That is what makes it so vital that we build our defenses--and build them fast.

Right now our defense effort is beginning to roll. We have been tooling up for large-scale production of new airplanes, tanks, and weapons of all types. We have a lot of new developments that we are putting into production-ranging from faster jet planes to lighter equipment for our foot soldiers.

These things take materials and manpower. And they cost money.

That is where this savings bond campaign comes in. All of you, I know, want to help in the defense of our country.

People sometimes say to me, "I want to help in the defense effort, but I don't know what I can do. Can you tell me?"

Tonight, I am telling you about something everybody can do. This is a personal matter with every one of you.

You can help to defend your country by buying United States savings bonds.

At the same time you will be putting aside money, at a time when goods are becoming scarcer, which will be available later on when goods are more plentiful. It will be a backlog to meet emergencies, to finance the education of your children or to purchase a home, and to provide for a more comfortable old age.

The savings bonds you buy will be bonds for freedom. And they will be bonds for your personal future. I ask each of you to back the defense drive to the limit by buying extra bonds and helping to sell bonds to others.

Buying defense bonds is a way in which each of us can play a part in the defense of our country and in bringing peace to the world.

Harry S. Truman, Radio Address Opening the Defense Bond Drive. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230709

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